The law requires employers to pay for workers compensation as administered by the state or territory concerned. This is regardless of gender, age or any disability. The system ensures compensation of Australian workers who suffer injury or other harm at work. It also protects employers from having to pay for hefty medical bills and other claims. Safe Work Australia oversees the process by establishing national policies and guidelines.
Employers’ Duties Extend Beyond Workers Compensation Premiums
Paying workers compensation insurance does not protect employers from criminal liability for negligence leading to employee injury or death. Business.Gov says employers have three main health and safety responsibilities:
- Promoting a safe and healthy workplace
- Maintaining current and adequate workers’ compensation insurance
- Protecting themselves and their workers from financial hardship in the event of a workplace injury.
Independent contractors may fall under workers compensation rules, or have to arrange their own insurance depending on the circumstances. Consult your state or territory office for advice. Sole traders fall outside the remit of the workers compensation insurance system, and should arrange their own accident and sickness cover.
Workers Compensation Fraud: What You Should Know
The national system to provide compensation for Australian workers suffering harm at work is open to fraud. Both employers and employees sometimes try to get more out of the process than legislators intended. The New South Wales state insurance regulatory authority summarises the situation as followers.
Examples of Employer Workers Compensation Fraud
- Failing to take out workers compensation insurance and then lying about it
- Conspiring with a worker to support a false claim
- Supplying false information to obtain or renew a policy
- Falsifying documents like a certificate of currency
- Deliberate underestimation of wages or worker numbers
- Failure to pass on workers compensation benefits
- Working with others to supply false documents to support claims
Examples of Employee Workers Compensation Fraud
- Claiming for an injury that didn’t occur at work
- Failure to notify of return to work or change in income
- Non-disclosure of multiple claims relating to the same injury
- False or overstated travel and/or expense claims
- Falsifying medical certificates
- Supplying false or misleading information in relation to a claim.
Medical providers and legal advisers may conspire with employees to submit false or overstated workers compensation claims. This can be a nightmare for employers who don’t understand how the system works.
How to Seek Advice if You Are in This Situation
Medical and legal experts can run circles around small and medium employers that don’t have the luxury of in-house resources. A fraudulent workers compensation insurance claim can lead to reputational damage and prosecution of the employer.
AusCovert Investigations has a team of workers compensation fraud detectives with decades of collective experience. Call 1800 553 788 for advice, if you are tempted to buckle under demands because you don’t understand system, or simply do not have the time.