WorkCover WA’s Compliance Officers regularly visit workplaces across the State to ensure each has a current workers’ compensation policy and an injury management system in place. They may also check for evidence of return to work programs should you have past or present claims.

The penalties for non-compliance are outlined below. You can also see examples of prosecutions on the Prosecution results page.

If you don’t have workers’ compensation insurance, your business will be liable for the cost of the benefits paid if one of your workers has a work related injury or industrial disease.

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.
Some employers may attempt to engage in ‘avoidance arrangements’ to try to avoid their liabilities under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act). That is, they may ask individuals to incorporate (set up their own company) as a condition of getting a contract for work. Employers commit an offence by engaging in these arrangements.

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.

Costs for engaging in an avoidance arrangement could include:

  • 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.
Learn more about the penalties for non-compliance by viewing the prosecutions against non-compliant scheme participants.

Go to Prosecution results.