In the event that an employee becomes injured, sick or mentally ill – will your business be protected from the financial burden of medical and wage-related costs? If you are operating as a sole trader or company within Australia and hiring one or more employees; you are legally required to have an insurance policy in place.
Workplace injuries come in many shapes and forms. These include physical injuries, mental illnesses and diseases contracted within the workplace. As an employer, you are obligated to provide a safe working environment and abide by Occupational Health & Safety standards that are relevant to your industry.
In Australia, each state and territory has their own regulations that govern how workers’ compensation is processed. By seeking advice from a professional insurance provider, you will be advised on what laws are relevant to your state or territory. They will also help you understand the terms laid out by Fair Work Australia and what is required to meet National Employment Standards.
What is covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Any activity or role required by your business is covered by workers’ compensation. This includes day-to-day duties, travelling to and from work, and any activities carried outside of their usual role or department.
Unless there are special circumstances where your employee has acted out of serious misconduct – in most cases, they will still be entitled to compensation by your insurance policy.
How are Insurance Premiums Calculated?
Many factors are taken into consideration when calculating your premium. These include the number of employees working in your business, how much they’re being paid, the risk factor of your industry and evidence regarding your businesses past performance. In some circumstances, it’s possible for employers to insure themselves in accordance with the Fair Work Act.
Your insurance provider will assess these factors related to your business and help you come up with the best premium rate to suit your needs.
How Are Insurance Claims Assessed?
Following a recent injury or illness, your employee will undergo an assessment to identify several key factors related to their case. These include:
- the nature and extent of their injury or illness
- how the illness or injury impacts the employee’s capacity to work within their normal duties
- estimated time of recovery and their ability to work during that time, and
- what measures need to (or can) be implemented, in order for your employee to work safely during their recovery
What If my Employer Does Not Have an Insurance Policy?
Employers who do not have workers’ compensation are subject to serious penalties. In the event of a serious accident or illness, they may not only be liable for medical expenses and wages paid to those unable to work – they could be issued with severe fines too.
If you’re an employee and have recently become unable to work due to a workplace-related injury, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or seek advice from a workers’ compensation entity in your state or territory.
What are my Responsibilities as an Employer?
Employers must consider the needs of their staff and provide a safe working environment for them. Implementing preventative measures – such as following strict OH&S practices and abiding by your industry regulations – are the most effective way to avoid the risk of serious injury or illness.
Issues such as workplace bullying, harassment and discrimination can severely impact the mental wellbeing of workers. Employers should have strict workplace policies and procedures in place. So that employees can pursue the appropriate avenues and seek advice related to these issues.
For more information about workers’ compensation and other topics related to the Fair Work Act, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Organise an insurance policy that’s right for your business by contacting email@example.com or 1300 739 861.
Disclaimer – “This material contains general information only and may not suit your particular circumstances. To decide if a policy is right for you please carefully read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and/or Policy wording. While we have exercised due care and skill in preparing this information, Optimum Insurance Services (Optimum) does not accept any legal responsibility or liability for negligence or otherwise to you or anyone else who seeks to rely on this information. This includes, without limitation, loss arising from a possible failure of the information to comply with statutory or regulatory requirements or the failure of the information to identify other terms and conditions beyond those considered in this document. You should obtain advice to ensure that your policy provides adequate cover for your circumstances.
“Optimum Insurance Services Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Insurance Advisernet Australia Pty Ltd (Car No. 291220), Australian Financial Services Licence No 240549, ABN 15 003 886 687.”