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Workers' compensation

Last updated May 2019

This chapter explains the workers’ compensation legislation that applies in each jurisdiction and how to comply with them.

Workers’ compensation legislation requires you to take out workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries to your workers that occur during the course of employment.

Definition: Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault statutory compensation that an injured worker may claim under their employer’s compulsory workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Definition: No Fault Principle

The no fault principle means that compensation is available to the worker if they are unable to work due to a work-related injury, even if they or their employer committed no wrong.

Each state and territory has its own workers’ compensation legislation with which you must comply. Commonwealth legislation applies for federal public sector employees and employees of certain national private sector employers.

The following table shows the legislation that applies in each jurisdiction:

Jurisdiction Legislation
Cth Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
ACT Workers Compensation Act 1951
NSW Workers Compensation Act 1987
Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998
NT Work Health Act 1986
Return to Work Act 1986
Qld Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003
SA Return to Work Act 2014
Return to Work Corporation of Australia Act 1994
Tas Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988
Vic Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013
WA Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981
Remember: If your business operates in more than one jurisdiction, you must comply with the separate laws within each relevant jurisdiction. This will depend on where the particular worker is based.