Workers’ compensation insurance

Workers' compensation insurance is compulsory in Australia, but the cost and benefit levels differ in each state and territory.

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What you need to know

  • If an employee falls sick due to their job, or is injured while at work, workers compensation insurance will cover their lost wages and more.
  • If you are an employer and you dont have workers compensation insurance, you could face fines and even jail time.
  • The prices of workers compensation insurance varies by state and territory, because it is regulated differently.

How much is workers' compensation insurance?

New South Wales icon

New South Wales

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 1.47%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 1.47% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate. Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history.

Victoria icon

Victoria

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 1.272%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 1.272% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate. Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history.

Queensland icon

Queensland

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 1.23%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 1.23% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate. Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history.

Western Australia icon

Western Australia

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 1.822%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 1.822% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate.

Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history and even which insurer you choose. It's particularly important to compare prices if you live in WA.

South Australia icon

South Australia

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 1.8%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 1.8% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate. Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history.

Tasmania icon

Tasmania

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 2.08%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 2.08% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate.

Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history and even which insurer you choose. It's particularly important to compare prices if you live in TAS.

Australian Capital Territory icon

Australian Capital Territory

For 2022-2023, the average premium rate is 2.33%.

This means you multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by 2.33% to get a rough idea of your workers' comp premium.

However, the premium rate can vary depending on industry. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the premium rate.

Your premium may also be impacted by your claims history and even which insurer you choose. It's particularly important to compare prices if you live in ACT.

Northern Territory icon

Northern Territory

Each business is assigned a rate relative to the risk of their industry. Your gross annual spend on wages is then multiplied by this rate to get your premium.

However, your premium may also be impacted by claims history or even which insurer you choose.

An overview of workers' compensation across Australia

Choose the tab with your state to see who needs workers' compensation, whether you might be exempt, and where you can find more information.

Who needs it
  • Any employer who pays annual wages over $7,500.
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers who pay $7,500 or less in annual wages, unless they have an apprentice or trainee.
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Sole traders
Benefits
  • Weekly payments for loss of income
  • Payment for permanent impairment
  • Medical and hospital expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Property damage expenses
  • Family benefit following work-related death
More information

State Insurance Regulatory Authority or SafeWork NSW

Who needs it
  • Any employer who pays annual wages over $7,500.
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers who pay $7,500 or less in annual wages, unless they have an apprentice or trainee.
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.
Benefits
  • Weekly payments for loss of income
  • Payment for permanent impairment
  • Medical and hospital expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Superannuation contributions
  • Family benefit following work-related death
More information

WorkSafe Victoria

Who needs it
  • All employers in Queensland
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.
Benefits
  • Lost wages (weekly compensation)
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Travel (treatment/claim related)
  • Permanent impairment benefit
  • Family benefit following work-related death
  • Common law damages
More information

WorkSafe Queensland

Who needs it

  • All employers in Western Australia
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.

Who doesn't need it

  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.

Benefits

  • Loss of wages
  • Medical and allied health treatment expenses
  • Workplace rehabilitation expenses
  • Travel and accommodation expenses
  • Benefit for permanent impairment
  • Family benefit following work-related death
  • Common law damages

More information

WorkCoverWA

Who needs it
  • Any employer in South Australia who pays $13,760 or more in wages for the 2022-23 financial year
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers who pay less than $13,760 in total for the 2020-21 financial year. (However, if your employee is injured at work, you must report the injury, register and pay the minimum premium.)
  • Self employed people with no employees or apprentices
  • Self-insured employers, usually very large companies
Benefits
  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Return to work services
  • Permanent and partial impairment benefits
  • Common law claims
  • Family benefits following workplace death
More information

ReturnToWorkSA

Who needs it
  • All employers in Tasmania
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.
Benefits
  • Loss of wages
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Nursing and household services
  • Permanent impairment benefit
  • Family benefits following work-related death
  • Common law damages
More information

WorkSafe Tasmania

Who needs it
  • All employers in the Australian Capital Territory
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.
Benefits
  • Lost wages (weekly compensation)
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Total or partial incapacity benefits
  • Permanent injury benefits
  • Travel (treatment/claim related)
  • Benefit permanent impairment
  • Death benefits and funeral costs
More information

WorkSafe ACT

Who needs it
  • All employers in the Northern Territory
  • Employees can be full time, part time or casual and the agreement can be written or oral.
  • This includes apprenticeships or traineeships.
Who doesn't need it
  • Employers that have registered as self-insured, usually very large companies.
  • Self-employed people with no employees or apprentices.
Benefits
  • Lost wages (weekly compensation)
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs
  • Return to work expenses
  • Travel and accommodation expenses
  • Family benefits following work-related death
More information

NT WorkSafe

employee
Did you know?
The number of serious workers' compensation claims in 2020-2021 was 130,195. Of these, 12,155 were for mental health conditions. 474 claims were for COVID. Read more statistics here.

What's covered by workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation claims are decided on a case by case basis and rules vary between states. Here's a general overview:

Covered

  • On-site breaks. Employees are generally covered if they're on-site
  • Off-site breaks. Employees are covered in NSW, VIC, QLD and NT. They're usually not covered in TAS though, although there are some exceptions. They're not covered at all in SA.
  • Commuting (ACT, QLD, NT). The ACT covers commutes without restrictions. QLD and NT are generally covered, but with limits.
  • Illnesses and injuries outside of work. Employees can still make claims for illnesses and injuries that happen outside the workplace, but they'll have to prove their employment was a main contributing factor.
  • Work-related travel. Employees are covered while undertaking work-related travel. Conditions are stricter in VIC than in other states.

Not Covered

  • Serious and wilful misconduct. This includes being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, committing a crime. However, death and serious injury benefits may still apply
  • Self-inflicted injuries. Employees can't make a claim for death, injury or illness that was self-inflicted.
  • Commuting (NSW, TAS, WA, SA, VIC). NSW and TAS are generally not covered, though there are exceptions. WA, SA and VIC employees are rarely covered at all.
  • False information. If the employee lied about pre-existing conditions, they may be excluded from making a related claim.

Get a quote for workers' compensation insurance

In Australia, there are 11 workers' compensation schemes. All 8 states or territories have their own one and there are 3 Commonwealth schemes. Find a quote below based on where your business operates.

Receive a Quote for Workers Compensation

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