WorkCover Explained

Tuesday 1 December, 2015 | By: Colin Fruk | Tags: workcover, finances, red tape, regulation, health & safety

If you’re an employer in Queensland, you must take out a WorkCover policy for your staff. It’s mandatory.

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For the past 18 years, WorkCover, while government-owned, has operated as an independent commercial enterprise as an insurer for workplace health and safety in Queensland. It’s not run for profit; all income comes from its 150,000 member businesses.

What goes into a premium?

Two major factors affect how each business’s WorkCover premium is calculated: total wages paid and industry sector.

If your wages bill is below $1.5 million, things are fairly simple. Premiums are calculated on industry claim rate and individual business claim rate. The business is then categorised into one of five bands.

Rating 1 is the best; businesses within it pay only 80 per cent of their industry’s rate. New employers start at Rating 3, which is 100 per cent of their industry’s rate, then work their way towards higher (120 per cent) or lower premiums each year depending on whether they submit any claims. Business can only move one band – that is, 10 per cent – per year.

If you pay wages above $1.5 million per year, you are assessed each year by a formula with the variables of:

  • your claims performance
  • your industry's claims performance
  • the size of your enterprise as a proportion of your industry

Safety starts with you

To keep your staff, visitors, contractors and customers safe from harm and your business safe from WorkCover claims, you must have a clear WH&S policy and follow it.

CCIQ runs a free Workers' Compensation info line if you'd like advice about WorkCover claims, how to handle returning to work, case reviews and appeals processes, and more. Our service is available to all Queensland employers through this website and by calling 1300 365855 and speaking with an advisor.

We also offer watertight policy templates and handbooks at CCIQ Templates.

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