{{ propApi.closeIcon }}
Our industry
Our industry $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Economic research and forecasting Economics Housing outlook Tailored market research Economic reports and data Inspiring Australia's building professionals HOUSING The only place to get your industry news Media releases Member alerts Submissions See all
Business support
Business support $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Become an apprentice host Hire an apprentice Why host a HIA apprentice? Apprentice partner program Builder and manufacturer program Industry insurance Construction legal expenses insurance Construction works insurance Home warranty insurance Tradies and tool insurance Planning and safety services Building and planning services How can HIA Safety help you? Independent site inspections Solutions for your business Contracts Online HIA Tradepass HIA SafeScan HR Docs Trusted legal support Legal advice and guidance Professional services Industrial relations
Resources & advice
Resources & advice $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Building it right Building codes Australian standards Getting it right on site See all Building materials and products Concrete, bricks and walls Getting products approved Use the right products for the job See all Managing your business Dealing with contracts Handling disputes Managing your employees See all Managing your safety Falls from heights Safety rules Working with silica See all Building your business Growing your business Maintaining your business See all Other subjects COVID-19 Getting approval to build Sustainable homes
Careers & learning
Careers & learning $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
A rewarding career Become an apprentice Apprenticeships on offer Hear what our apprentices say Advice for parents and guardians Study with us Find a course Get your builder's licence Learn with HIA
HIA community
HIA community $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Join HIA Sign me up How do I become a member? What's in it for me? Get involved Become an award judge Join a committee Partner with us Get to know us Our members Our people Our partners Mates rates What we do Mental health program Charitable Foundation GreenSmart
Awards & events
Awards & events $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Awards Australian Housing Awards Awards program National Conference Industry networking Events Building and Renovation Home Show
HIA products
HIA products $vuetify.icons.faArrowRight
Shop @ HIA Digital Australian Standards Contracts Online Shipping and delivery Purchasing terms & conditions Products Building codes and standards Hard copy contracts Guides and manuals Safety and signage See all
About Contact Newsroom
$vuetify.icons.faTimes
$vuetify.icons.faMapMarker Set my location Use the field below to update your location
Address
Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.text}} {{region}} Change location
{{propApi.title}}
{{propApi.successMessage}} {{region}} Change location

$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Workers compensation

This policy states HIA's position with respect to workers compensation schemes including that they operate fairly, efficiently and are financially viable.

HIA’s Position statement

  1. Objectives
    • To operate fairly, efficiently and effectively, workers’ compensation schemes need to be financially viable, and operate on a genuine ‘no fault’ basis.
  2. Definition of injury
    • A compensable injury or illness must truly arise out of or in the course of employment, or the employment must have played a major or significant part in the development of the injury or disease. Injuries sustained by workers while travelling to and from work should not be included in any workers compensation scheme.
  3. Definition of worker
    • Workers compensation is a responsibility of employers not principal contractors.
    • HIA opposes the extension of workers compensation benefits to independent contractors and the deeming of independent contractors as employees for workers compensation purposes.
    • HIA supports a definition of worker that exempts businesses that satisfy the results test and Alienation of Personal Services Income (APSI) rules under the Commonwealth income tax laws.
    • Persons running their own business should be responsible for purchasing and paying for their own sickness, accident and income protection insurance. Working company directors should not be covered for workers compensation.
  4. Common law claims
    • HIA opposes common law claims. Where they exist they should be restricted to those seriously injured, leading to severe disability or death and balanced against the total benefits provided to injured workers under the scheme.
  5. Premiums
    • Premiums should be calculated according to an appropriate risk assessment, including the safety record of the insured business.
    • HIA opposes site based premiums. Site based premiums would distort independent contracting arrangements, extending a welfare/employee entitlement to a person running their own business, with the builder ultimately held responsible for site matters.
    • Wages paid to apprentices or trainees should be exempt from the calculation of workers compensation premiums.
  6. Return to work
    • HIA supports the rehabilitation of injured workers and return to work in a timely, safe and efficient manner and when in the best interests of the employer and the employee.
  7. Benefits
    • The calculation of benefits must be clear and be ‘stepped down’ to meet return to work objectives and to ensure the viability of a workers compensation scheme.
    • The use of lump sum payments should be limited and made only to workers who have a permanent total or partial impairment or loss of use of any part of the body.
    • HIA opposes workers compensation top-up schemes and terms of industrial awards or agreements that require employers to pay ‘accident make-up pay’ to ‘top up’ workers compensation payments to the level the worker would normally have earned if they were not off work due to a workplace injury or illness.
  8. Insurance regulation
    • Competition amongst insurers should be encouraged as this will result in improvements in the quality of service being provided and ultimately result in lower workers compensation premiums. Regulations should allow for free and open competition between public and private insurers.

Background

  • Multiple schemes for workers’ compensation operate in Australia. They provide financial assistance to employees injured at work, regardless of fault.
  • WorkCover premiums are usually the largest single government on-cost for employers.
  • With State authorities holding significant unfunded liabilities, further premium increases are likely.
  • The use of building industry-wide ratings is one reason why members of the residential building industry face premium rates almost twice the all-industry average.
  • Confusion around the definition and status of independent contractors under state law creates unnecessary challenges uncertainty about coverage.

Policy endorsed by HIA National Policy Congress: 21 May 2015. Re-endorsed October 2020.

Share with your network:

More articles on:

{{ tag.label }} {{ tag.label }} $vuetify.icons.faTimes
Find guides, how-tos, resources and more

Business support


 

Supporting building professionals with custom built services and products.

  • Legal support
  • Contracts Online
  • Host an apprentice
  • Insurance services
  • Managing safety

Explore Business support