Getting started with WorkCover insurance

A service that covers employers for certain costs if their workers are injured or become ill because of their work.


Getting started with WorkCover insurance

WorkCover insurance (sometimes referred to as WorkCover) is a service provided by WorkSafe Victoria that covers employers for certain costs if their workers are injured or become ill because of their work. Some of these costs may include:

  • replacement of lost income
  • medical and rehabilitation treatment costs
  • legal costs
  • lump sum compensation in the event of a serious injury

WorkCover insurance also gives you access to tools and resources that help you make your workplace a safe environment for you and your employees. This is part of WorkSafe Victoria’s aim to keep all Victorian workers healthy and safe, and to deliver high quality care and treatment when workers are injured.

WorkCover insurance is compulsory for almost all Victorian employers and is funded by their contributions. Every employer pays their fair share to help make Victoria the safest place in Australia for workers.

Knowing if you need to register

You need to register for WorkCover insurance if you or your business/company employs any workers in Victoria. Some exemptions can include:

  • Your business/company has no apprentices and pays, or is liable to pay, less than $7500 a year in remuneration.
  • You're a sole trader, an individual in a partnership or an individual trustee of a trust and you don't employ any other people as workers.
  • Your company does all the contract work for that company's one and only business client.

What is remuneration?

Remuneration includes wages, salaries, superannuation, and other benefits such as cash and noncash payments you pay your workers before tax.

What is a worker?

Anyone that you or your company employs is considered a worker for the purposes of WorkCover insurance. This includes workers who are employed on a casual, part time, or full time basis.

If you engage a contractor, there are some circumstances where they may not be considered a worker for the purposes of WorkCover.

Understand if those you engage are considered including apprentices, volunteers, and interstate/overseas workers are considered ‘workers’ by WorkSafe.

Penalties for not registering

If you're not registered for WorkCover insurance when you should be, you may face severe penalties. These can include:

  • Reimbursing any compensation paid by WorkSafe to your injured workers
  • Paying the premium you should have been paying while you weren't covered
  • Paying a penalty of up to $43,618 for individuals or $218,088 for businesses

Learn more about the penalties involved if you’re not registered for WorkCover Insurance when you should be.