CAMBRIDGE INSURANCE BROKERS

Cambridge Insurance Brokers understands that
one of your businesses most important assets is your workforce.
When workplace injuries occur there can be
significant impacts on both you and the worker.
Worker compensation laws aim to ensure that
in the event of an injury, both you
and the worker are protected.
 

What is WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE?

Each state has different workers compensation laws and arrangements.
Under WA's 'no-fault' workers compensation system, employers are liable to pay statutory compensation
costs for an injured worker regardless of who was at fault. Workers' compensation insurance
indemnifies employers against this liability - that is costs and expenses arising from
a workers' compensation claim are paid by the insurer.

Workers' compensation is financial compensation provided to workers
who become injured or ill as a result of their work, and may include:

•weekly payments to cover loss of earnings
•lump sum payments in case of permanent impairment
• assistance with medical and related expenses; and
•workplace rehabilitation assistance to return to work.

Any worker who suffers a work-related injury or disease requiring medical
treatment or time off work is entitled to claim workers' compensation.
The workers' compensation scheme in WA is administered by WorkCover WA in accordance with the
Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act), which has two main purposes:

• ensuring workplace injuries are managed in a matter that enables a worker's prompt
and safe return to work following an injury; and
• ensuring an injured worker is compensated for lost wages, medical expenses
and associated costs while they are unable to work.

The rights and obligations of employers, workers and other key parties in the
scheme are defined under the Act.  As an employer, your primary obligations include having:

• a current workers' compensation insurance policy covering all your workers; and
• a documented Injury Management System for your workplace.

You must also ensure, in the event of an injury, that a worker's compensation claim is managed
in accordance with the conditions outlined in the Act. Significant penalties apply for non-compliance.

WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

As well as being a compulsory requirement under the Act, having insurance coverage for workers'
compensation can protect your business from the financial and operational impact of workers'
compensation claims. In the event of a work-related injury, your insurance policy provides coverage of:

• statutory workers' compensation entitlements due to an injured worker; and
• legal costs, court fees and damages in the event that a common law
claim is brought against you by an injured worker.

Cambridge Insurance Brokers and your insurer will also be able to assist
you in the management and administration of claims by:

• advising you on correct claims procedures
• estimating the costs of claims
• participating in the injury management process at your request
• assisting with return to work programs and identification of claims which may require workplace rehabilitation;
and representing you through the conciliation and arbitration process if disputes occur.

Important
Workers' compensation claims can cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs,
penalties and benefits payable to the injured worker.
If you are uninsured and one of your workers sustains a work-related injury, you may be liable for:

• compensation to the injured worker, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars
• legal costs, including court fees and any damages awarded to the worker in common law claims;
and significant fines and penalties for failing to hold valid insurance.

WHO DO YOU NEED TO COVER?

A business must provide workers' compensation insurance cover for anyone
it employs who fits the definition of a worker under the Act. This includes:

• full-time workers on a wage or salary
• part-time, casual and seasonal workers
• workers on commission
• piece workers

and in some circumstances:

• contractors and sub-contractors
• working directors

Covering Contractors and Sub-contractors
It is important to accurately determine your insurance obligations with regards to contractors and
sub-contractors as two or more parties may be jointly liable for insuring the workers employed
to undertake a contractual task. For example, in a contractual chain involving an employer
(the principal), a contractor and a sub-contractor, each party must have a valid workers'
compensation policy covering any workers the sub-contractor my employ.
WorkCover WA has produced a publication

For further information please contact our office or visit the WorkCover WA website:
http://www.workcover.wa.gov.au