As an employer, it is your responsibility to make sure your workers are insured for work-related injury.  In Queensland, WorkCover Accident Insurance Policy is a compulsory cover for all ‘workers’ as defined under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.  This insurance covers you against all statutory and damages claim costs in the event of a work-related injury to your workers. There are no limits or caps to the number of claims that can be made against your policy and you cannot pay any of your own claim costs in Queensland.

Who is a Worker

From 1 July 2013 a worker is ‘a person who works under a contract and, in relation to the work, is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding under the Taxation Administration Act 1953’.  The worker is:

  • An individual
  • May include a sole-trader contracted under an ABN even if they are responsible for their own tax
  • Can include a worker even if they work from home or telecommute

The Act specifically excludes a person who performs work under a contract of service for:

  • a corporation of which the person is a director
  • a trust of which the person is a trustee
  • a partnership of which the person is a partner

The following people are also excluded:

  • people who perform work under a contract of service with the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority
  • professional sportspeople
  • members of the crew of a fishing vessel receiving wholly or mainly a percentage of gross earnings or profit
  • people who use a motor vehicle for tuition
  • a person who has a personal services business determination (PSBD) — this is explained further down the page
  • people who participate in an approved program or work for unemployment payment under the Social Security Act 1991.

In Queensland there is no threshold before you are required to hold a Workcover Policy. 

You must insure anyone who meets the definition of a worker within five days of commencing employment.  Employers who are found to be uninsured may be subject to penalties for unpaid premiums and any compensation costs.

Director’s, Trustees, Partners & Sole-traders

Now you have your compulsory worker’s compensation in place, it is time to think about your personal cover for the above business operators,.  If you were to suffer a work-related injury you would not be able to claim under your standard WorkCover policy.  WorkCover QLD offers a separate Workplace Personal Injury Insurance Policy just for you.  This is not compulsory and should considered in comparison to other third-party insurance provider policies.

Other Considerations

Household Worker Insurance

If you employ a household worker, it is compulsory to take out a Household Workers' Insurance Policy to cover you against potential compensation costs if the worker is injured while working for you.

A household worker is a worker you employ solely in and about, or in connection with, your own private dwelling or the grounds of the dwelling (ie. cleaners, nannies, baby sitters, gardeners, tradespeople and in-home carers).

Workcover in Other States

Workcover requirements are governed separately by each state and you should consider which state laws are relevant to you.