When to register for WorkCover insurance

On this page
  1. Insurance requirements
  2. Information for sole traders and partnerships
  3. Information for companies
  4. Information for trusts
  5. Penalties for non-compliance

You must take out WorkCover insurance if

  • you expect to pay more than $7,500 a financial year in rateable remuneration, or
  • you have any apprentices or trainees.

This applies even if you're a small company with only one worker.

If you meet this criteria but don't have WorkCover insurance yet, you should register immediately. WorkSafe needs to receive your registration form within 60 days of the date you first meet these requirements.

If you're not required to register, and one of your workers makes a claim for compensation, you must report the claim to the WorkSafe.

Sole traders and partnerships

You're not recognised as a worker of your own business for WorkCover purposes if:

  • you're an individual and running a business as a sole trader or sole proprietor
  • a partner in a partnership
  • the trustee of a trust.

This means that you can't register for WorkCover insurance to cover yourself. You can only register for WorkCover insurance if you have workers working for your business.

If you are hired as a worker by someone else, that person may need to take out WorkCover insurance to cover you.

If you are, or you become an employer and you're paying or expect to pay your workers over $7,500 in the financial year then you must register for WorkCover insurance to cover them.

Companies

A company must take out WorkCover insurance if they pay more than $7,500 a year in rateable remuneration.

Directors and employees of proprietary limited companies (even if you are a director of your own company) that receive wages are covered by WorkCover insurance. This includes instances where the company is a trustee.

Trustees

Trustees can be in the unique situation where they are the employer of different businesses being run by different trusts. Trustees may register for WorkCover insurance for each independent business they run under trusts.

Penalties

If you fail to register for WorkCover insurance and one of your workers suffers an injury at work, WorkSafe may still pay compensation, but the cost of compensation provided to your worker will be recovered from you and you may also face a significant fine. The penalties are outlined in WorkSafe's premium rulings.

If you have information about an employer you suspect is not meeting their insurance obligations please email premium@worksafe.vic.gov.au

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