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WorkCover Queensland sharpens policy compliance focus

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Want to avoid copping your clients’ wrath if they are facing thousands of dollars in penalties for being uninsured for workers’ compensation? There’s an easy way for accountants, bookkeepers and insurance brokers to add value to client relationships by ensuring they have appropriate workers’ compensation insurance and understand ‘who is a worker’.

If your clients employ workers in Queensland, even family members, it is compulsory for them to have an accident insurance policy with WorkCover. If a worker is injured at work, they can apply for workers’ compensation no matter whom or what caused their injury, so it’s important that your clients are covered.

In 2015, uninsured businesses lodged 260 workplace injury claims with WorkCover Queensland, costing the scheme approximately $6.5 million. During this period, WorkCover audits of 650 Queensland businesses found that 8% of employers omitted to declare wages paid to contractors deemed workers and 3% were uninsured.

To ensure the sustainability and fairness of the workers’ compensation scheme in Queensland, WorkCover has bolstered its year-round employer compliance and education visits and employer wage audits with access to data matching information linked to the Australian Tax Office and the Office of State Revenue.

WorkCover Queensland Manager - Customer Compliance, Ms Stacey Looney said the vast majority of businesses do the right thing by having an accident insurance policy and paying the right amount of premium. Yet accountants, bookkeepers and insurance brokers can still add real value by stressing the risks of non-compliance to clients.

“If your Queensland clients are employing workers they are breaking the law if they don’t have a WorkCover Accident Insurance policy,” Ms Looney said.

“Uninsured employers who lodge WorkCover claims are held to account and subject to significant financial penalties, including the cost of the claim. These penalties can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for severe injuries.”

Ms Looney said a WorkCover Accident Insurance policy costs as little as $200 per year, including GST (depending on which industry a business belongs to and wages paid to its workers).

“It’s never too late to ensure your clients are complying” Ms Looney said. “Small businesses covered by WorkCover enjoy benefits including protection for the business and workers against injuries and protection against penalties for employing workers without having a policy,” Ms Looney said.

If your clients are confused about their obligations to insure their workers against injury or who they need to cover, WorkCover is here to help. You can apply for a WorkCover policy online on their behalf by visiting Worksafe.qld.gov.au, or by calling WorkCover on 1300 362 128 to get the right advice.

Last updated
05 May 2017