Workers Compensation Insurance
An essential aspect of employee protection in any workplace
Workers Compensation Insurance is an essential aspect of employee protection in any workplace. It provides coverage to employees who may suffer injuries or illnesses because of their work. Workers Compensation Insurance is particularly important for churches that employ staff, as it protects employees and the church.
No matter how careful you are, work-related injuries and illnesses can happen. If your church or ministry employs workers, you have a responsibility – and a legal obligation – to look after them.
For Churches based in Australia that employ staff, Workers Compensation Insurance is essential as it covers not only pastors and ministers but also other staff members such as administrative assistants, youth workers, and custodial staff. The church is responsible for providing a safe working environment for all employees. Workers Compensation Insurance offers additional protection if an employee is injured at work.
A Workers Compensation policy can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs if an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness. This type of insurance aims to provide financial support to employees who cannot work due to a workplace injury or illness.
In addition to providing financial support to employees, Workers Compensation Insurance protects the church from potential legal action. Significant penalties for employers exist in each State and Territory if an employee suffers an injury or illness at work and the church does not have appropriate insurance in place. In addition, your church could be liable for the medical expenses and lost wages incurred by your injured staff member. This could result in significant financial hardship for the church and damage its community reputation.
Organisations honouring their legal obligations also send a positive message to their employees. It shows they care about their well-being and are committed to providing a safe working environment. This can help improve employee morale and loyalty, increasing productivity and better outcomes for the church.
Workers' compensation programmes are governed by State governments in each State. Insurers may play varied roles within the different schemes, and the administration of the various programmes varies. Private insurers underwrite the programme in Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the ACT. Insurers work as scheme agents for the NSW, Victoria, and South Australia government authorities. In Queensland, the State alone manages the programme.
Common questions churches ask about Workers Compensation Insurance
1. How much will it cost?
The insurance premiums you need to pay will depend on your industry, the number of employees, and the remuneration you pay them.
The risk profile is increased if your church operates additional programs, including op shops, cafes, childcare facilities, or other commercial ventures like gardening services. This will be reflected in the premium charged by the insurer.
At the beginning of your policy period, you must provide an Estimated Wages Declaration Form to calculate your premium.
At the term expiry, your premium will be adjusted based on the information you provide on an Actual Wage Declaration Form. If your wages are lower than your estimated wages for the policy period, you may receive a refund of overpaid premium. You must pay an extra premium if your actual wages exceed your estimated wages.
2. Who is a worker?
The definition of “worker” varies from State to State. However, generally, a worker is deemed to be any person employed on a full-time, part-time basis under an oral or written contract of service or apprenticeship.
3. Who is not a worker?
Generally, an employer is not required to provide Workers Compensation Insurance for contractors or sole traders.
A contractor or sole trader is a person who:
- Is hired to perform specific jobs using their judgement and capabilities
- Employs, assigns or contracts out tasks to others
- Is compensated based on a job quotation and provides their own tools, supplies and equipment
- Carries on business in their name or under a company name (such as by using an ABN)
In some States of Australia, directors, partners in a partnership, sole traders or trustees of companies are not covered by Workers Compensation Insurance as they are not considered workers under the Act. In this instance, separate Personal Accident and Illness cover for the individual may solve this gap in cover.
4. What is considered wages/remuneration, and what should be included in actual and estimated wage declarations?
Remuneration can include:
- All wages
- Allowances (and the like)
- Directors Fees
- Superannuation contributions (except those required by law)
- Fringe benefits
- All other benefits (whether paid in case of non-cash benefits such as vehicles, equipment, mortgage payments, travel, school fees etc.)
- ** Calculations should all be made pre-tax
Remuneration does not include:
- Termination pay
- Retirement pay
- Retrenchment pay instead of notice given
- “Golden handshakes”
- Weekly payments of Workers Compensation
5. What are the penalties for not having Workers Compensation Insurance?
Penalties vary from State to State. For States where ACS Financial can provide Workers Compensation Insurance solutions, the following penalties can apply to organisations without appropriate insurance.
Failing to maintain a current Workers Compensation insurance policy covering all workers in WA can incur the following:
- Fines of up to $5,000 per worker
- An amount equal to any avoided insurance premium payable over the previous five years
- Separate and further offences for every week you remain uninsured after the conviction
- Liability for damages
- Legal costs involved in court action
Even if you have Workers Compensation through another provider, contact ACS Financial today, and we can advise if we can offer you an alternative quotation for you to consider.
Call us on 1300 397 621 now and speak with one of our insurance experts.
Why is Workers Compensation Insurance important?
- Any organisation that employs staff is legally required to take out Workers Compensation Insurance for their workers
- It provides financial support to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses
- It ensures that injured employees receive necessary medical care and treatment
- Workers Compensation benefits employees regardless of fault, removing the need for lengthy legal battles
- It promotes workplace safety and incentivises employers to take proactive measures to prevent workplace accidents and injuries
- By investing in Workers Compensation, employers can create a safer and more supportive work environment, improving productivity and outcomes.
- Avoids fines and penalties being incurred against your organisation for not having the correct insurance in place
About ACS Financial
ACS Financial has served over 3000 churches, ministries, Christian schools, SMEs, NFPs and individuals for nearly 30 years. Over this time, we’ve been refining and developing comprehensive church insurance and protection packages tailored to your unique needs.
Our comprehensive church Insurance and Protection packages let you run an effective ministry with peace of mind even if accidents happen or things go wrong.
We understand the risks and costs involved in administering a church and ministry. ACS Financial will provide you with competitive church insurance and protection packages tailored to the level of coverage you need.
We know that no two churches are the same. Our experienced team of church insurance professionals explain the products available to help you select the best cover for your church or ministry based on your unique needs.
Our process is quick and easy. Our friendly team are here to support you every step of the way.
For more information, contact us at 1300 397 621 or visit our website at www.acsfinancial.com.au
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website reflect some of the commercial aspects and potential risks/obligations for your Church, School or Organisation. The information is given as a guide only and does not represent a definitive list or legal view in any way shape or form. You are advised to seek your own professional advice on all your individual needs. ACS Financial Pty Ltd (ACN 062 448 122) (AFSL 247388).
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