Workers compensation

Workers Compensation Act 1951 (the Act) aims to provide timely, safe and durable return to work through effective injury management and income support to injured workers. It works in conjunction with work health and safety legislation which seeks to reduce the human and economic cost of work related injury through improvements in the management of health and safety in the workplace

WorkSafe ACT is responsible for the administration and regulation of the workers compensation legislation. WorkSafe ACT provides an advisory and inspectorate function on a range of workers' compensation and work health and safety matters to assist employers and workers.

Inspectors are appointed under the Act to ensure compliance with the legislation. They also investigate employee complaints, undertake investigations in relation to prosecutions and provide information on workers compensation matters to the general public.

Definition of scheme

Workers' compensation in the ACT is not run by the government but is a privately underwritten and market driven scheme which differs to a number of other jurisdictions. Insurers apply to WorkSafe ACT to become approved insurers to enable them to offer workers' compensation coverage in the ACT. The Act supports and facilitates the progress of injury management and provides a benefit scheme that encourages workers to return to work as early and safely as possible.

Default insurance fund

The ACT Default Insurance Fund (the DIF) provides a safety net to injured workers who are left without compensation through the actions of their employer.

The cost of providing this protection is met by every ACT employer who does the right thing and obtains a compulsory workers' compensation insurance policy. In the past, the cost to policy holders (the DIF levy) has been incorporated within the overall workers' compensation premium paid by employers. Insurers are required to disclose the DIF levy amount on every premium notice. This will allow every employer who does the right thing to see the true cost of non-compliance in the community.

Refer to the Default Insurance Fund page on the ACT Treasury website for further information.

Further guidance

If you would like to find out more about workers compensation indexation of benefits, plea read ACT Indexation Benefit Guide - July 2020 (DOC 104KB) or (PDF 280KB).

For more information about employer obligations, read our guidance note (PDF 177KB).

For information about the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2020, visit the ACT Legislation Register

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