Skip links and keyboard navigation

Queensland Government site header

WorkCover Queensland joins Australian Government’s Phoenix Taskforce

Subscribe to the News RSS feed

WorkCover Queensland has joined the Australian Government’s Phoenix Taskforce in a strategic partnership that strengthens our commitment to crack down on business owners who deliberately avoid their legal obligation to provide employee entitlements.

The Phoenix Taskforce partnership extends WorkCover’s links with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Office of State Revenue and food and liquor licensing authorities through sophisticated data matching systems which identify businesses who are not insured for workers’ compensation.

Illegal phoenix activity is when a new company is created to continue the business of an existing company that has been deliberately liquidated to avoid paying taxes, creditors and employee entitlements.

WorkCover Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bruce Watson said joining the Phoenix Taskforce sees WorkCover partnering with key state and federal government agencies to ensure employers do the right thing by their staff, contractors and the community.

“WorkCover is committed to working with and educating employers to protect the fairness and sustainability of the workers’ compensation scheme for all Queensland policyholders,” Mr Watson said.

“Inaccurate reporting of wages by illegal phoenix entities affects the entire workers’ compensation scheme through increased premium costs and we are determined to put a stop to these practices.

“We look forward to working closely with the Taskforce agencies to make a real difference when it comes to ensuring safe and commercially stable workplaces,” Mr Watson said.

Aislinn Walwyn, ATO Assistant Commissioner responsible for Phoenix, said “we welcome WorkCover Queensland to the Phoenix Taskforce. I have no doubt their presence in the Taskforce will assist us in combatting illegal phoenix activity and we look forward to working closely.

Taskforce agencies are using a range of strategies to target and take enforcement action against phoenix business facilitators, including early intervention to prevent non-compliance and a 'Top Phoenix Targets' program that targets and takes enforcement action against high risk phoenix operators and their facilitators.

If employers are confused about their obligations to accurately declare their wages or who they need to cover, WorkCover is here to help. It’s never too late to start complying and doing so can protect business owners from significant financial penalties for non-compliance.

If you suspect an illegal phoenix operator, you can report this activity to the Phoenix Taskforce by visiting www.ato.gov.au/reportphoenix, or call the Phoenix Hotline on 1800 807 875. For more information about the Phoenix Taskforce, visit ato.gov.au/phoenixtaskforce

Last updated
26 September 2018