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Workers' compensation prosecutions

The Workers' Compensation Regulator is responsible for investigating and commencing proceedings for alleged offences against the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

If a workers' compensation insurer comes across information which supports a reasonable belief that an offence has been committed, the insurer must provide that information to Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services without delay.

Authorised Persons within Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services will then investigate the potential offence to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support a recommendation being made to the Workers’ Compensation Regulator that a prosecution should be commenced.

Who can be prosecuted?

Investigations and proceedings can be commenced against any person including a worker or a claimant, employer, service provider, or any other person or business.

Offence

Maximum Penalty

Contravening general obligation to insure (s. 51)

275 penalty units (currently $36,698.75)

Employer’s failure to comply with duty to report injury (s. 133)

50 penalty units ($6,672.50)

Worker’s failure to notify of a return to a calling (s. 136)

50 penalty units ($6, 672.50)

Failure to comply with employer’s obligation to appoint rehabilitation and return to work coordinator, obligation to have workplace rehabilitation policy and procedures or obligation to assist or provide rehabilitation (s. 226, 227, 228)

50 penalty units ($6, 672.50)

Dismissal of injured worker only after 12 months (s.232B)

40 penalty units ($5,338)

Offences involving fraud (s.533)

500 penalty units ($66,725) or 5 years imprisonment

False or misleading information or documents (s.534)

150 penalty units ($20,017.50) or 1 years imprisonment

Duty to report fraud or false or misleading information or documents (s.536)

50 penalty units ($6, 672.50)

Employer’s use of workers’ compensation documents for a purpose relating to the employment of a worker (s. 572A)

100 penalty units ($13,345)

Failure of contractor to give principal contractor document confirming insurance status (s. 576C)

25 penalty units ($3,336.25)

Breach of restriction on disclosure by principal contractor of information obtained under part 1A (s. 576E)

100 penalty units ($13,345)

In the 2019/20 financial year, the Workers’ Compensation Regulator:

  • Received 66 referrals for investigation
  • Commenced 25 prosecutions
  • Successfully prosecuted 12 matters

View the prosecution outcomes.

Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services publishes information about prosecution outcomes for certain offences under workers’ compensation laws as well as actions taken by WorkCover Queensland to administratively enforce compliance with workers’ compensation laws by recovering unpaid premium and applying administrative penalties to employers who do not hold adequate workers’ compensation insurance.

Publishing prosecution and administrative compliance outcomes encourages compliance with Queensland’s workers’ compensation laws by:

  • educating workers, employers and the community about their obligations under the Act and consequences of not complying with these; and
  • providing information about how to prevent similar breaches.

Publishing principles

We aim to ensure that all published information is accurate, impartial and balanced, and encourages compliance with Queensland's workers’ compensation laws.

Publishing methods

We publicise prosecution outcomes via:

  • this website
  • conferences and forums (our representatives participate in forums where they disseminate information and statistics on prosecutions)

We publicise administrative compliance outcomes via:

  • this website
  • the WorkCover Queensland Annual Report
  • conferences and public forums (our representatives participate in forums where they disseminate information and statistics on administrative compliance outcomes, often with the purpose of educating customers and stakeholders about the legal requirement to hold workers’ compensation insurance)

More information

Find more information about accessing Departmental information on the Department of Justice and Attorney-General website.

If you are aware of any non-compliance with workers’ compensation laws, we encourage you to report it.