We acknowledge that many businesses will experience increased financial concerns as a result of COVID-19, and we are working to provide employers with advice and support with their premium. In general, our approach is:
- Should an employer be in this situation, they should contact their Relationship Manager or call us on 1300 362 128 to discuss arrangements
- At first instance, we will work with employers to review the estimated wages they have previously supplied us for the current year and adjust them as appropriate
- This may result in a reduction in premium or potentially a refund
- In addition, we will also work with employers on alternative and extended payment arrangements where possible.
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 and policies such as confidentiality and safe work practices whilst working at home.
Please refer to guidance from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
If your worker has an accepted workers' compensation claim for their work related COVID-19, 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 not cover wages during quarantine unless:
- there is diagnosis of COVID-19;
- the exposure has been confirmed in connection with work; and
- there is an accepted workers' compensation claim.
WorkCover can only reimburse these costs if:
- your worker is subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19;
- the exposure is confirmed to be a work-related injury (see question above);
- your worker has an accepted workers' compensation claim; and
- the costs are reasonable.
If we receive a claim for COVID-19, it will be assessed similarly to how we assess other statutory claims for viral diseases. There would need to be testing to confirm the worker has the virus and confirmation that the worker was exposed to another person in the workplace who has also was confirmed to have the virus. 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 employment was a significant contributing factor to the virus diagnosis.
Read about how we decide 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 current legislation. WorkCover will work with workers, employers and treating providers to determine how workers have contracted COVID-19 and make decisions in accordance with the Act.
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 ie. the first payment of weekly compensation.
More information is available on our website in relation to payments and support and employer excess.
Under the Act, directors, partners of a partnership, sole traders and trustees are excluded from coverage as they are not considered a ‘worker’. As a director, you will not be covered for any testing costs and/or a claim under your Accident Insurance Policy.
If you have a Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy, you may be covered for these costs. Read about our Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy.