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Workers' compensation

Last updated June 2020

This chapter explains your obligations under workers’ compensation legislation in each jurisdiction and how to manage workers’ compensation claims.

What is workers’ compensation?

An injured worker may make a claim for compensation under their employer’s compulsory workers’ compensation insurance policy.

Definition: Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault statutory compensation that an injured worker may claim under their employer’s compulsory workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Definition: No Fault Principle

The ‘no fault’ principle is when compensation is available to a worker if they are unable to work due to a work-related injury, even if their employer committed no wrong.
Important: If you operate a business and employ any workers, you are legally required to take out workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries to your workers that occur during the course of their employment.

Workers’ compensation schemes in each state and territory aim to:

  • return injured workers to work in a timely, safe and sustainable manner;
  • compensate injured workers for some of their economic loss during their period of recovery;
  • cover the cost of any necessary medical treatment; and
  • achieve a balance between returning injured workers to work as soon as possible, and ensuring that injured workers are able to fully recover and do not aggravate their injuries.
Caution: Workers’ compensation insurance does not cover you for injuries caused to third parties such as members of the public. Your business also needs public liability insurance for any of these type of claims.

How is workers’ compensation governed in your jurisdiction?

Each state and territory has its own workers’ compensation legislation. Commonwealth legislation applies for federal public sector employees and employees of certain national private sector employers.