What do I do If My Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Even if your employer has failed to take out the necessary workers' compensation insurance, you may still be entitled to WorkCover Queensland claim rights. Your rights to workers’ compensation are not impacted by any negligence on the behalf of your employer to have the required insurance in place.

This article outlines the steps you can take to ensure you receive the compensation and support you are legally entitled to, regardless of whether or not your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. 

Types of Workers Covered

In Queensland, workers' compensation insurance is mandatory for all employers. This insurance covers various types of workers, including:

  • Employees: Full-time, part-time, and casual employees.
  • Trainees and Apprentices: Individuals undergoing training or apprenticeship programs.
  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Depending on the nature of their work and contractual arrangements.
  • Volunteers: In some cases, volunteers may also be covered.

Key Rights Under Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation insurance provides several key benefits:

  • Medical Costs: Coverage for medical expenses related to work-related injuries or illnesses.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for lost income due to inability to work.
  • Rehabilitation: Support for rehabilitation and return-to-work programs.
  • Common Law Claims: Protection against potential common law claims for damages.

Steps to Take if Your Employer Does Not Have Workers' Compensation Insurance

1. Confirm the Requirement

First, ensure that your employer is indeed required to have workers' compensation insurance. In Queensland, all employers must take out an accident insurance policy within five business days of employing workers.

2. Report the Issue

If your employer should have a WorkCover Queensland policy but does not, you can report this to WorkCover Queensland. They have mechanisms to identify non-compliant employers through data matching and site visits.

3. Lodge a Claim

If you are injured at work and your employer does not have the required insurance, you can still lodge a claim with WorkCover Queensland. WorkCover will pay compensation to the injured worker and may recover the costs from the employer, along with penalties.

4. Seek Legal Advice

Consider seeking legal advice to understand your rights and the best course of action regarding your workers’ compensation claim. At Smith's Lawyers, we specialise in work injury claims and have a strong commitment to our clients through our No Win, No Fee, No Catch® promise. 

Our experienced legal team can guide you through the complexities of the claims process and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve without the risk of being out of pocket.

5. Understand Potential Penalties for Employers

Employers who fail to hold workers' compensation insurance face significant penalties. For individuals, the maximum penalty is 275 penalty units (approximately $37,908.75), and for corporations, it is five times higher (approximately $189,543.75). WorkCover may also recover unpaid premiums and additional penalties from the employer.

6. Utilise Support Services

Access support services such as the Workers’ Psychological Support Service and the Workers’ Compensation Information and Advisory Service for guidance and assistance throughout the process.

Protect Your Rights

It is essential for all workers in Queensland to be aware of their rights regarding workers' compensation insurance. If you find that your employer does not have the required insurance, take immediate steps to report the issue, lodge a claim, and seek legal advice. 

Understanding your rights and the available support is important in the event of a work-related injury.

For expert advice and assistance, contact Smith's Lawyers at 1800 960 482 or request a free case review online. 

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Last updated:

June 27, 2024

Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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