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Interstate and Overseas Workers

Working Interstate and Overseas

Each State in Australia is a different jurisdiction for workers' compensation purposes. If a worker performs work for their employer in more than one State there may be some uncertainty as to which jurisdiction determines the workers' compensation rights and responsibilities and where the employer is required to hold workers' compensation insurance to cover their workers.

There is also uncertainty in relation to workers' compensation insurance coverage when a worker performs work overseas for their employer or when a worker comes from overseas to work in Australia for their employer. 

Working in another state or territory within Australia

When a worker is required to work in more than one state or territory there will be only one jurisdiction in Australia that determines the applicable workers' compensation rights and responsibilities for the arrangement; in other words, a worker will always be connected to one state or territory.  

To identify the applicable jurisdiction, WorkSafe Victoria, along with the Authorities responsible for workers' compensation insurance in the other Australian states and territories, have developed guidelines to assist employers identify where their obligations for insurance exist.

See WorkSafe Victoria's Interstate Workers Guideline.     

The applicable jurisdiction determines the employer's obligation to obtain, or register, for workers' compensation insurance. It will also determine the workers' compensation entitlements for the worker if the worker sustains a work related injury in the arrangement.

Employers and workers are encouraged to contact the relevant jurisdictions as part of the process of determining which jurisdiction applies to their particular arrangement.  

Workers working overseas

When a Victorian worker, is required to perform work overseas for their employer then the issue of their coverage arises. If a Victorian worker is injured while working overseas they have the same entitlement to compensation from their employer's WorkCover insurance that they would if they were injured in Victoria.

Even when the worker is performing work in an overseas jurisdiction and they remain "connected" to their employer's Victorian WorkCover insurance the employer should check to identify if they will have any workers' compensation insurance obligations specific to the jurisdiction the worker is in.

If a Victorian employer hires a worker to work for them in an overseas jurisdiction, or jurisdictions, and they do not perform work for them in Victoria (either before or after their overseas work), then they will not be covered by the employer's Victorian WorkCover insurance.  Employers that hire workers to work for them overseas should establish their workers' compensation insurance obligations with the relevant authority.

Workers from overseas working in Victoria

Where an employer that is based overseas sends a worker from their overseas location to perform work for them in Victoria the interstate workers test should be used to identify if they will be recognised as a Victorian worker for the duration that they will be working in Victoria. If the test identifies the worker as a Victorian worker the employer may have an obligation to register for WorkCover insurance.  This remains the case if the overseas worker is working at the workplace of a client, a host employer, or a related company while working in Victoria.

If a Victorian employer is "hosting" a worker from overseas, because they are providing services to them under a contractual arrangement; they are working collaboratively with them; or they are the worker of a parent company or other related entity, the workers' compensation insurance obligation will remain with their employer.

If a Victorian employer hires a worker from overseas to work for them in Victoria, or in another Australian state or territory, the employer should refer to the Interstate Workers Guideline to determine the appropriate jurisdiction where coverage obligations may exist.

For specific enquiries relating to workers working in more than one state or territory, or for workers working overseas or coming from overseas contact WorkSafe on 1800 136 089 (toll free) or email