Legal Information Sheet - Workers Compensation

All employers in Western Australia of employees (as opposed to independent contractors) must provide Workcover for their employees. If an employee is injured in the course of employment, they are eligible for ongoing payment (of varying amount) until they are recovered sufficiently to return to work.

If recovery does not occur (as assessed by an Authorised Medical Specialist), action can be taken against the employer. If the 'whole person impairment' exceeds 15%, an employee can lodge a common law claim ( in court), however in this case, negligence by the employer must be proven.

It is important to act in a timely manner, because one year after a claim for compensation falls the 'termination day', after which damages can generally not be sought. An employee may choose to complete an 'Election to retain Right to Seek Damages' form if the injury is ongoing.

Offers by an insurance company for settlement of the matter will often be based on a statutory table of compensation payable, which provides for differing amounts based on the severity of the injury.