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Employer FAQs

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We acknowledge that many businesses are experiencing increased financial and operational concerns because of COVID-19. The following FAQs will provide employers with advice and support with their claims and premium.

If employers have further questions or concerns, they should contact their Relationship Manager or call us on 1300 362 128.

FAQs

Health and safety measures for employers

As an employer, you must take action to protect your workers and others at the workplace from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 so far as is reasonably practicable. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has more detailed information on this website.

You are encouraged to send workers home if they feel sick or unwell. Please refer to the Queensland Government website for up-to-date health advice and recommendations for COVID-19.

Please refer to the Queensland Government for up-to-date health advice and recommendations for COVID-19.

A number of resources are available to help you keep a safe, clean and healthy workplace during COVID-19. Please visit the COVID-19 section of our website.

Who is covered?

Yes, injuries sustained while working from home, regardless of the reason for working from home, are compensable if the injury arises out of or in the course of their employment, and the employment was a significant contributing factor to the injury.

It is important to remember that while workers are not working at their standard workplace, it is still your responsibility as the employer, to provide a safe work environment and to have an accident insurance policy with WorkCover Queensland.

Employers should make sure that workers are aware of any on-going obligations around issues, policies and safe work practices whilst working at home.

More information from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on what you need to consider and address when arranging working from home, is available on this website.

Directors, partners of a partnership, sole traders and trustees are excluded from coverage for any work-related injuries, including COVID-19, as they are not considered a ‘worker’ under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003. As a director, you would therefore not be covered for any testing costs and/or a claim under your Accident Insurance Policy.

We encourage you to obtain private insurance to cover you should you sustain a work-related injury. Our Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy can provide that coverage. You can apply online or over the phone.

Yes, entitlement to compensation is available to both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers.

Quarantine and compensation claims

If your worker has an accepted workers' compensation claim for their work-related COVID-19 infection, then WorkCover will cover reasonable costs if there is a requirement, confirmed by a medical practitioner, for quarantine outside of the worker's home.

If your worker does not have an accepted workers' compensation claim, please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman, ph: 131394.

WorkCover will only cover your worker’s wages during quarantine when:

  • your worker has received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19; and
  • there is an accepted workers' compensation claim for that diagnosis.

The employer’s policy will cover wages for the worker while in quarantine but only if there is an accepted COVID-19 claim for that worker. This would mean:

  • the worker has subsequently received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19;
  • there is an accepted workers’ compensation claim; and
  • the costs are reasonable.

If your worker does not have an accepted workers' compensation claim, please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman, phone: 13 13 94.

What claims are accepted?

Not all work-related injuries happen in the main place of work. Some injuries happen while travelling to, from or for work. Depending on the situation, workers may still be eligible for compensation. More information is available here.

If we receive a claim for COVID-19, it will be assessed in the same manner as we assess other statutory claims. There would need to be testing to confirm the worker has the virus and confirmation that the worker was exposed to another person who has also been confirmed to have the virus either in the workplace or while travelling to, from or for work. We would then need to be satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, the virus was contracted in the course of their employment and that the COVID-19 diagnosis was related to work.

Please refer to the checklist for lodging a COVID-19 claim.

Read about how we decide claims.

Workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation if they sustain an injury due to the COVID-19 vaccine.

An injury sustained by a worker due to the vaccine may be considered to have occurred in the course of their employment, and that employment was a significant contributing factor to the injury in circumstances where the worker works in an industry where the vaccine is mandated as a condition of employment, or the employer otherwise induces or encourages staff to get the vaccine. This may include circumstances where the employer:

  • pays for or facilitates vaccinations at the workplace or a vaccination centre/medical practice;
  • supports employees by approving leave or absence without pay while the employee obtains vaccination; or
  • explicitly encourages employees to obtain vaccination in their own time.

Read about how we decide claims.

If we receive a claim for COVID-19, it will be assessed in the same manner we assess other statutory claims.

Entitlement to compensation is assessed in consideration of available information and can include the aggravation of pre-existing/underlying medical or health conditions.

Please refer to the checklist for lodging a COVID-19 claim.

Read about how we decide claims.

What will WorkCover pay?

WorkCover can only reimburse these costs when your worker has an accepted workers’ compensation claim. This would mean:

  • your worker has subsequently received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19;
  • there is an accepted workers’ compensation claim; and
  • the costs are reasonable.

WorkCover will pay for reasonable and necessary costs in relation to accepted claims. This includes medical, hospital, rehabilitation and medical repatriation costs incurred during their travel overseas or whilst overseas for work purposes.

More information is available on this website in relation to payments and support.

If we receive a claim for COVID-19, it will be assessed in the same manner as we would assess other statutory claims for viral diseases contracted by the worker on their journey to and from work. There would need to be testing to confirm the worker has the virus and confirmation that the worker contracted the virus on their journey.

There is no impact to an employer’s premium on journey claims.

More information is available on journey claims.

If the worker has an accepted COVID-19 claim with WorkCover, all reasonable and necessary costs in relation to the worker’s medical treatment including hospitalisation whether in a COVID-19 Specialist Ward or not, will be covered under the employer’s accident insurance policy.

Your WorkCover Queensland accident insurance policy provides coverage for work-related injuries, including COVID-19, for those considered a ‘worker’ under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

This coverage does not extend to family members or relatives of a ‘worker’.

Impact on premium

Accepted COVID-19 claims will have the same impact on your premium as would any other statutory or common law claim. Workers with accepted claims for COVID-19 will have access to the same compensation entitlements that other workers with an accepted statutory claim have access to e.g. weekly compensation, medical and rehabilitation expenses, return to work support etc. As the employer, you will also be required to pay an excess i.e. the first payment of weekly compensation.

More information is available on this website in relation to payments and support and employer excess

Payments made by employers to workers in relation to leave entitlements may need to be declared as wages when taking out a new policy or renewing an existing policy with WorkCover Queensland.

Please refer to Policy renewal and declaring wages for more information.

Processing claims

WorkCover is regularly monitoring the progress of COVID-19 and ensuring our preparedness to process and manage claims arising from the virus. We continue to follow the advice and recommendations from Queensland Government.

Any new claims in relation to COVID-19 will be determined and managed by a centralised team in line with the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act).

WorkCover will work with workers, employers and providers to determine how workers have contracted COVID-19 and make decisions in accordance with the Act.

Please refer to the checklist for lodging a COVID-19 claim.

Read about how we decide claims.

WorkCover will only consider requesting information about the worker’s vaccination status where it is relevant for the purpose of facilitating and arranging independent medical examinations, treatment, rehabilitation and return to work; and in circumstances where health practitioners may require a worker to be fully vaccinated to participate in these services.

Workers who have a current workers’ compensation claim have certain commitments and responsibilities for their rehabilitation and return to work. This means working both with WorkCover, their employer and treating and referred medical and/or allied health providers.

If the worker’s vaccination status stops them from meeting their commitments and responsibilities, then they may be asked to disclose their vaccination status, so we can work together to find a suitable solution.