Queensland businesses are being reminded that they must insure their workers against the costs of work-related injuries, after recent compliance activities uncovered dozens of uninsured businesses.
In October 2022, WorkCover Queensland conducted targeted site visits and audits at 205 businesses across south-east Queensland and Cairns, as part of its year-round compliance activities.
Of those 205 businesses visited, 31 per cent were found to be operating without appropriate workers' compensation insurance. Retail, food service, construction and agriculture were among the leading industries where businesses were found to be uninsured or underinsured.
If you’re an employer in Queensland and you employ workers, you must insure your workers against work-related injury or illness (unless you’re a self-insurer). If a claim is accepted, WorkCover insurance can cover you for the costs of the claim including medical expenses, wages for time off work, and even common law damages claims.
While the majority of Queensland employers do take out the right level of cover, any business that employs even one worker in Queensland without adequate insurance is breaking the law.
It also puts their workers’ health and safety at risk and exposes their business to the risk of significant financial penalties. These can include the costs of a workers’ compensation claim, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for severe injuries.
WorkCover is committed to working with Queensland workplaces to help our business community better understand their obligations and what type of cover they need for workers.
However, ignorance is not a defence, and businesses that choose to turn a blind eye to their workers’ compensation obligations are being held to account.
WorkCover regularly conducts targeted site visits at workplaces across Queensland. We also have access to a range of data and information that can be matched to policies and businesses to help us determine those businesses that are uninsured or inaccurately reporting their wages.
This ensures we keep our workers’ compensation scheme fair and sustainable for all WorkCover Queensland policyholders.