Grouping allows the VWA to treat two or more employers as a single employer for the purposes of:
- Workplace industry classification
- Premium calculation
- Debt collection
Circumstances for grouping
Grouping provisions can be found in the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013. You can access the latest version of this act by visiting www.legislation.vic.gov.au. The information below gives a brief overview of these provisions:
1. Related corporations
Two corporations will be grouped when one is related to the other under section 50 of the Corporations Act 2001.
2. Inter-use of workers
Businesses will be grouped with other businesses where:
- A worker performs duties for a business run by their employer and another entity
- A worker of the employer is employed to perform duties for a business run by another entity
- An employer has a formal or informal agreement for a worker to perform work for a business run by the other entity
3. Commonly controlled businesses
A group will exist where a person has a 'controlling interest' in two or more businesses.
The question of what constitutes a 'controlling interest' varies according to the type of entity which operates the business.
Grouping for industry classification
Members of a group who share a workplace, or have workplaces that are contiguous, may be classified as one workplace for Premium calculation purposes. For more information on when this may apply, talk to your WorkCover Agent.
Exclusion from grouping
The VWA has the discretion to exclude a company from a group in certain circumstances.
When determining whether or not to exclude a business from a group, the VWA will consider:
- Trade between the businesses
- Sharing of resources between the businesses
- Common management between the businesses
- Common financial arrangements between the businesses
- Common customers between the businesses
- The extent of connection between the businesses
- Any other relevant matters
In the case of joint ventures, it is highly likely that a group will exist between the joint venture entity and the joint venturers, on the basis of either the 'inter-use of workers' grouping or the 'common controlling business' grouping.
the VWA has ruled that in cases where the joint venturers are not related under any of the grouping circumstances, except for when they come together as joint venturers, they will not be grouped.
Where a number of professional practices (for example, doctors, accountants) share the services of a common administrative services group, the VWA will generally exercise the discretion not to group.