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Workers' compensation laws

Workers' compensation laws provide a framework for managing workers' compensation and rehabilitation in Queensland.

Queensland's workers' compensation legal framework includes:

  • the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003
  • the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014

Together, the Act and the Regulation establish the workers' compensation scheme for Queensland. They also set out the laws for workers' compensation and rehabilitation, and for managing insurance, compensation, rehabilitation, damages and costs.

This information will give you an overview of the law and help you understand your responsibilities and rights in the workplace.

The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 establishes the workers' compensation scheme for Queensland.

What's included?

The workers' compensation scheme provides:

  • injured workers with income support when they're not able to work
  • payment for permanent impairment or death
  • payment for reasonable treatment and other related expenses.

In some cases, the scheme provides benefits for people other than workers

The scheme outlines an employers' obligation to be covered against liability for compensation and damageseither under a WorkCover insurance policy or under a licence as a self-insurer.

WorkCover Queensland and self-insurers manage claims with a focus on rehabilitation and returning injured workers to work.

The Act also covers:

  • assessment for permanent impairment
  • independent medical assessment tribunals
  • rights of review of, and appeal against, decisions made under the Act.

The Act establishes the Workers' Compensation Regulator to regulate the workers' compensation scheme.

Who's covered?

If you're an employer in Queensland and you employ workers, you must insure them against work-related injury or illness with an accident insurance policy.

Your policy covers any workers you employ as defined in the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. It covers workers employed by your business only. Any person you might hire to provide a service from another business is covered by their own employer.

If you're a sole trader or a director or partner of your own business, or you're employed by a Trust where you're a trustee, you're not considered a worker, so your accident insurance policy does not cover you. You can take out Workplace Personal Injury Insurance to cover you if you'd like to, but it's not compulsory.

To understand who you should cover for workers' compensation – and so you can declare your wages accurately - you need to know exactly who is considered a worker.

Explore 'Who should I cover' for more information on how to work this out.

If you have any questions about who is or isn't considered a worker, call us on 1300 362 128 so we can help you.

Who's responsible?

An employer is legally responsible for having an up-to-date accident insurance policy, either as a self-insurer or under a WorkCover policy.

If you have a worker who's experienced a work-related injury or illness, you must support their recovery by assisting their rehabilitation and return to work.

Learn more about business and employer obligations.

Learn more about claims and insurance.

The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 provides detailed information on how to meet the requirements of the workers' compensation scheme.

What's included?

The regulation sets out the legal requirements for the workers' compensation scheme including:

  • insurance
  • compensation
  • rehabilitation
  • damages
  • costs.

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