WorkCover insurance can be a minefield. And if it’s not calculated correctly it can really cost your business. So what should you do?

What is WorkCover insurance and why do I need it?

WorkCover or Workers Compensation insurance is compulsory for all Victorian businesses who employ staff. It covers employers for the cost of employee benefits for work related injury or illness. This includes replacement of lost income and medical and rehabilitation costs.

WorkCover responsibilities

All employers must:

  1. Notify your Workcover Agent of changes to your workplace or business activity;
  2. Keep remuneration details up to date
  3. Determine whether or not you are required to include contractor payments for remuneration declaration purposes.
  4. Pay your premium by the due date shown on your invoice.

Pretty straightforward… right? Lucky for you we’ve broken down each of these responsibilities below.

Notifying your WorkCover Agent of changes

You are required to notify your WorkSafe agent if:

  • there are any changes to your workplace or business activity (this can affect your classification and premium)
  • your workplace address changes
  • you change your legal business name
  • the contact person for your insurance changes
  • you begin employing workers at a new workplace, cease to employ at a current workplace or cease to employ and no longer require insurance
  • your remuneration increases or is likely to increase by 20% or more from your most recent estimate of remuneration for the financial year (if this occurs, you must notify your agent within 28 days).

That can be a lot to remember – especially when you’ve already got a lot on your plate! But it’s important to notify your Workcover Agent of these changes. If you want to outsource the administration and management side of workers compensation, JGA can take care of it all for you!

Keeping remuneration details up to date

Your remuneration includes wages, superannuation and other benefits you pay your workers. To keep your remuneration details up to date and ensure you do not pay more premium than you should, it’s important to:

  • Undertake internal quarterly reviews to assess how your remuneration figures are tracking towards recent remuneration estimates provided to your WorkCover Agent;
  • Always update your remuneration estimates when you employ new staff members.

You can check or update your remuneration details on the WorkSafe insurance portal.

If you underestimate your annual remuneration penalties may be applicable.

If you feel as though you are paying too much on your workers compensation insurance premiums, JGA provide annual premium assessments. From this assessment you may receive a reduced premium or even a refund!

Working with contractors

Do you regularly or even occasionally use contractors? You may be liable if the contractor is injured while performing work for you.

Each time you hire a contractor you must determine if they’re considered a ‘worker’ by WorkSafe. If so, you become their employer for WorkCover insurance purposes and you must include the money you pay them in your total remuneration. 

If you’re unsure whether your contractors are considered as workers, our team at JGA can help.

Paying your premium by the due date

And last but not least, all employers must pay their premium by the due date. Penalties may apply for late payments.

If you don’t have time to keep up with workers compensation administration and management, are paying high insurance premiums, or are unsure on contractor classifications, contact our team for professional advice!

Paul Ramsdale

Author Paul Ramsdale

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