WorkCover WA devotes significant resources to regulating employers’ compliance with their obligations under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act).
This section is an overview about the employer compliance, investigation and enforcement activities.Employers' responsibilities
- Maintaining a current workers’ compensation insurance policy covering all their workers
- Lodging workers’ compensation claims with their insurer within 5 working days
- Having an Injury Management System in place
- Preparing return to work plans for employees who are injured at work
These are legal obligations and penalties apply if these obligations are not met.
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If you employ, you must obtain a Certificate of Currency from an insurer. A Certificate of Currency is evidence of a current workers’ compensation insurance policy. A certificate issued by a broker or any other documents issued by an insurer are not valid Certificates of Currency.
Failure to have a valid Certificate of Currency available for inspection is an offence under section 160(7) of the Act and can incur a penalty of $2,000.
WorkCover WA monitors employers’ compliance with their duty to insure.
We also have a team of experienced Advisory officers who can be contacted on 1300 794 744 from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday if you have any questions about workers’ compensation.
- Giving the claim to their insurer within five working days.
- When the claim is approved by the insurer, paying wages on the injured worker’s usual pay day and in the usual manner
- Maintaining communication with the injured worker
- Preparing a return to work plan once a medical practitioner advises the worker has some capacity for work.
- It is the role of the insurer to determine if liability is to be accepted for the claim. If you disagree with the claim, the form still needs to be lodged with the insurer which will discuss your concerns with you. Further information is available here: Receiving and managing claims
WorkCover WA also ensures employers meet their obligations in relation to injury management and returning to work where workers have been injured at work.Inspector powers
An Inspector will provide written or verbal notice and must clearly state the power or powers being exercised and for what purpose.List of inspector powers
- Enter, inspect and examine any place where it is suspected workers may be employed or books, accounts, documents or records required to be inspected may be held
- Conduct investigations as necessary to ascertain whether there has been compliance with the Act
- Interview any person who the inspector has reasonable grounds to believe is able to provide information that may be able to assist the inspector to perform a function under the Act
- Require people to verify statements by signing a statutory declaration form
- Require auditor certification of remuneration paid to workers
- Require any person to state their name and address
- Require an employer or any of their workers to provide assistance
Not responding and/or not providing documents when requested may lead to penalties.
Where an employer has previously received a letter of caution and further non-compliance is detected, an infringement notice will be issued or prosecution will be commenced.
If an employer receives an infringement notice, they may:
- Apply to WorkCover WA for limited extensions of time to pay (there is no option to pay by instalments)
- Elect to have the matter dealt with in court
- Request the infringement be withdrawn if there is information that demonstrates a breach did not occur.
WorkCover WA’s prosecutorial discretion is guided by the Statement of Prosecution Policy and Guidelines issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and published in the Western Australian Government Gazette on 3 June 2005.
The penalties for non-compliance are outlined below. You can also see examples of prosecutions on the Prosecution results page.Failure to have workers' compensation insurance
Costs could include:
- in excess of $600,000 in benefits if a worker is injured
- legal costs involved in court action
- liability for the cost of any action taken at common law
- fines of up to $5000 per worker
- an amount equal to any avoided premiums going back five years
- separate and further offences for every week you remain uninsured after the date of conviction.
Worker previously employed
AG Engineering enters into a new contract with a welder who was previously employed under a contract of service by the company to weld steel roofing frames.
Under the new arrangement, the welder provides substantially similar services as they did when working for AG Engineering, but provides those services on behalf of a separate company as a director or employee, working principally for AG Engineering. The work done is also directly part of the business of AG Engineering – that is, metal fabrication.
If an injury occurs, AG Engineering will be liable to pay the welder compensation and meet any return to work obligations.
Worker not previously employed
Morrissey Cleaners calls for tenders from incorporated companies to provide cleaning services to its clients. Morrissey Cleaners intimates that it is not responsible for workers’ compensation under the contractual arrangement for any company winning the tender for the contract.
An applicant, Mr Brookes, forms a company named PB Pty Ltd, registers himself as the director and PB Pty Ltd wins the contract. While the contract is in effect, Mr Brookes does work principally for Morrissey Cleaners – work that is directly a part of the business of Morrissey Cleaners – that is, industrial cleaning.
If an injury occurs, Morrissey Cleaners will be liable to pay Mr Brookes’ compensation and meet any return to work obligations.
- the employer being liable to pay workers’ compensation entitlements in accordance with the Act and meet return to work obligations if a worker is injured while working for an employer under an avoidance arrangement
- a fine of $5000 for employers who allow workers to do work for them under an avoidance arrangement
- a $2000 penalty may be applied to employers (or insurers) who receive money or indemnity from a worker (or the worker’s company) in respect of any compensation liability the employer has to pay.
Go to Prosecution results.