Michael Watters at D’Angelo Legal tells us about uncommon Workers’ Compensation cases where the employer has not had Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
It is illegal not to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance if staff are employed. If caught, the employer will face a $5,000 fine per worker, (this is compounded daily), plus all the costs of the statutory benefits that the injured worker is entitled to.
“In one case, a construction worker fell from a height of four metres, causing injury to his head, neck and back, and he possibly has an acquired brain injury. This client was injured at work and we are attempting to obtain compensation for him as the employer has no insurance.”
When subcontractors are used it can be difficult to ascertain who the employer is. Michael explains “Who the employer is, can usually be answered with two simple questions: who pays you? And, who is in charge or who do you report to?”
The principal employer is responsible for the worker and becomes the initial respondent in these types of claims. To process a Workers’ Compensation Claim medical forms are required and a 2B Form (the employees report of injury) needs to be completed and lodged.
Work Cover WA has a supplementary fund that Insurance Companies are obliged to contribute to. This fund was set up so that no employee is disadvantaged when they are injured at work. Work Cover WA will then seek to recover funds from the uninsured principal employer.
The important messages are: make sure you have Workers’ Compensation Insurance if you have workers, and, no worker is disadvantaged when it comes to claiming compensation resulting from a work place injury.