Do business owners need workers’ compensation?

Date: Jun 25, 2020

If you are a business owner and employ even one staff member, it is mandatory to provide workers' compensation, according to the Commonwealth of Australia. However, as direct as this answer may seem, there's still more to learn about workers' compensation coverage.

As a business owner in Australia, it's important to understand what insurance is necessary so you can protect your employees and avoid fines. Here's everything you need to know about getting workers' compensation, from why it's necessary to how to purchase it.

What is workers' compensation coverage?

Workers' compensation is beneficial for the security of your employees and the longevity of your business. The Australian Government explained that if a work-related accident or illness occurs, this work injury compensation allows your employee to receive first aid, file a compensation claim and take advantage of return-to-work rehabilitation.

While this coverage protects your workers from financial hardship due to an injury at work, it also protects your business's finances. With workers' compensation, you don't have to pay these expenses out of pocket. You should purchase a workers' compensation plan from an authorised insurance provider. If your business is found to not have this protection in place, you may be fined up to $55,000, according to icare.

Exceptions to the rule

While workers' compensation is a mandatory insurance for most business owners with full-time employees, there are some important exceptions to this rule. First and foremost, you cannot have workers' compensation insurance if you are the sole trader or "employee" for your company. In this instance, you should insure yourself with your own personal death or disability coverage.

Furthermore, icare highlighted three other circumstances when a business owner may not be required to purchase workers compensation coverage, they include:

  1. If your employee is paid $7,500 of less in annual wages (e.g., babysitters, part-time or seasonal workers).
  2. If you don't employ an apprentice or trainee.
  3. If you're not a member of a group for premium purposes.

However, even if you are exempt from workers' compensation, you may still be obligated to provide assistance to injured team members or be held liable for the circumstances surrounding their claim. Before purchasing workers' compensation insurance, always check to ensure you're following government rules and buying it from an authorised insurer.

If you are an employee who believes you have the right to file a workers' compensation claim, contact the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners today to learn more about your options.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.