By: Peter Walker
WorkCover Queensland is the statutory insurer for workers’ compensation in Queensland. It should not be confused with Q-COMP, which provides the regulatory oversight of the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme.
Under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, any organisation employing staff in Queensland must insure them against workplace accidents.
Unlike some other States, which arrange these policies to be provided by commercial insurance companies, in Queensland you must insure with the State Government entity; WorkCover. The only exception to this is if you are a ‘self insurer ‘(under a licence issued by Q-COMP) or if the Queensland based staff fall under a federal arrangement (SRCC Act).
Like any insurer, WorkCover Queensland’s objective is to provide the maximum cover (or benefits) for the lowest possible price. However, this is where the similarity with conventional insurance ends.
Traditionally the purchaser of the policy buys the insurance for their own personal benefit. However with workers’ compensation, the employer pays the premium and the recipient of the benefit is their injured worker. This complicates matters, as it creates two separate and distinct ‘customer groups’ who have very different desires from the insurer; the employer wanting low premiums but the workers wanting maximum benefits.
Further to this, in almost all other classes of insurance, the purchaser can decide on the provider, the level of cover and the price payable. For example, you may take a large excess on your motor policy in order to pay less, or you may choose to add accidental damage cover to your home contents by paying additional premium. However, workers’ compensation in Queensland is a monopoly arrangement so there is no choice as to cover or price …. both are set by the government.
While this limits the control an employer has over workers’ compensation, GB helps partners employ strategies which help to minimise cost and days lost. Gallagher Bassett provides a range of workers’ compensation solutions in Queensland and nationally.