WorkCover Queensland has reduced the rate of workers’ compensation premiums by 17 per cent, which is the lowest average rate in Australia. Premiums for employers have been reduced from $1.45 to $1.20 for every $100 paid in wages.
WorkCover Queensland Chairman Glenn Ferguson explained the Queensland Government workers’ compensation reforms and good financial management have transformed the organisation.
“Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme is the best and fairest in Australia,” Mr Ferguson said in the June eSAFE newsletter.
“With a return to work rate of 95.7 per cent for injured workers, it is clear that we maintain a constant focus on providing support for injured workers and encouragement of recovery and return to work. Queensland pays the best benefits to workers and is the only state that continues to cover all workers travelling to and from work.”
What does WorkCover mean for small to medium businesses
If you are a Queensland-based employer, you are required to provide workers with insurance cover for workplace accidents.
A worker is defined as a person who is employed under a contract with your business and is an employee for PAYG withholding purposes under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the act). Only an individual can be a worker. This means that if you enter into an agreement for services with a corporation, trust or partnership, such entities will not be deemed “workers” under the act. Employee status is determined by six common law principles:
- The worker does not subcontract jobs given to them by the employer
- The worker is paid by the hour, on commission or for piece work
- The worker is not operating independently from employer
- The employer has the right to instruct worker
- The defects that require fixing are not the legal liability of the worker
- All or most of the tolls and equipment required for a job are provided by the employer, or an allowance is provided to the worker
Your premiums are calculated by WorkCover, based on details of wages paid in the previous financial year and the estimated amount of wages to be paid by your organisation in the coming financial year.
An employment lawyer can help you understand your obligations as an employer when providing workers’ compensation.