Understanding your Workers Compensation Insurance cover

It’s important to know what your Workers Compensation Insurance policy covers, especially if you ever need to make a claim.

About Workers Compensation Insurance

Employers must have a Workers’ Compensation Insurance policy unless they are an exempt employer. For more information, visit our Who needs a policy page.

Your policy and the legislation

Workers compensation laws and guidelines form a workers compensation and workplace injury management framework that covers:

  • prompt treatment of work-related injuries
  • effective and proactive management of such injuries
  • medical and vocational rehabilitation following injuries
  • income support for workers during incapacity.

The system ensures a fair and affordable workers compensation system within NSW, and aligns insurance premiums with the risks faced in their industry.

What Workers Compensation Insurance will cover

If a worker is injured at work or develops an illness because of their work, they may be entitled to financial compensation. Workers compensation insurance will cover these costs, which may include:

  • weekly benefits
  • rehabilitation services
  • medical and hospital expenses
  • some personal items damaged in a work-related accident
  • a lump sum payment for death or permanent impairment

Duration of your policy

All policies cover a period of 12 months unless you request a shorter term.

If you’re a small employer, the first period of insurance will run for 11 to 12 months from the day you take out the policy. This is because the policy must align with the end of a month.

For all employers taking out a policy for the first time, your policy starts as soon you contact us. 

Your responsibilities as an employer with a Workers Compensation Insurance policy

Notifying your Claims Service Provider of a work-related injury or illness

If a worker covered by your policy informs you of a work-related injury or illness, you have an obligation to let us know within 48 hours.

Notify us of an injury or make a claim

Supporting your worker's return to work 

When a worker is recovering from a work-related injury or illness, you have an obligation to support them in their journey back to work.

Learn more about helping people return to work

Keeping a register of injuries

As an employer, you're required to maintain a register to record all workplace injuries or illnesses sustained by workers, even if there has not been a claim. Penalties apply for failing to keep a register.

The register of injuries can be recorded in hard copy or electronically, and employees must know how to access it. We encourage ‘near misses’ to be recorded in the register as well, as it could indicate a problem that may result in serious injury or illness in the future.

All registers of injuries must include:

  • name of the injured worker
  • worker's address
  • worker's age at the time of injury
  • worker's occupation at the time of injury
  • industry in which the worker was engaged at the time of injury
  • time and date of injury
  • nature of the injury
  • cause of the injury.

We encourage employers to utilise the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Register of injuries/illness template, available on the NSW Safework website.  

Download SafeWork NSW injury register template  

Employees working interstate or overseas

Under the Workers Compensation Act 1987, employees who are normally covered under your workers compensation insurance policy are still covered when temporarily working interstate or overseas, provided their deployment is less than six months in duration. 

In addition to your NSW obligations, you must also adhere to the workers compensation insurance requirements of the country or state that your employee will be temporarily working in.

Details of the types of payments made to workers while interstate or overseas can be found in the Wages Definition Manual.

Workers compensation legislation

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