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After getting insurance - what's next?

Now that I have workers compensation, what are my obligations?

Every employer is required to:

2. Display the 'If you get injured at work' poster

Every employer must have the 'If you get injured at work' poster in some prominent place at their work.

This poster summaries what you and your worker should do if there's been a work related injury.

You can download the poster to print out yourself or order a free copy from our online publications shop.

Need it in another language?

The 'If you get injured at work' poster is also available in Arabic, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Download and print them yourself or order them from the publications store.

3. Have a return to work program

A return to work (RTW) program is the formal policy that outlines general procedures for handling work related injury or illness. It represents an employer's commitment to the health, safety and recovery of workers following an incident.

All employers in NSW must have a RTW program within 12 months of starting a business.

There is support available if you need help you develop your RTW program, such as the Guidelines for workplace return to work programs.

For more information visit return to work programs.

4. Maintain a register of injuries

A register of injuries is a record of each work related injury or illness sustained by your workers regardless of whether a claim for workers compensation has been made.

It may be kept in writing or be electronic (eg on a computer).

The register of injuries must include these details:

  • name of the worker
  • the worker's address
  • the worker's age at the time of injury
  • the worker's occupation at the time of injury
  • the industry in which the worker was engaged at the time of injury
  • the time and date of injury
  • the nature of the injury
  • the cause of the injury

There are penalties for failing to keep a register of injuries.

SafeWork NSW has a standard template you can use.

For more information on register of injuries, see SafeWork NSW.

5. Provide help if there's been an injury

  1. Help your worker get medical treatment, especially if it's serious (eg call an ambulance)
  2. If the injury is considered 'serious', 'dangerous' or has resulted in a death you must report it to Safework NSW immediately on 13 10 50
  3. Record it in your register of injuries
  4. Tell your insurer within 48 hours of being made aware of the injury
  5. Work with the insurer to help your worker return to or recover at work

For more detailed information visit what to do first and I'm an employer helping my worker recover.

A complete list of all your obligations

This table provides a summary of key employer obligations for workers compensation and workplace injury management. It isn't exhaustive and doesn't include the requirements specified in the SIRA Guidelines for workplace return to work programs.

Employer obligation prior to injury Legislative reference Penalty notice offence Maximum penalty
Have a workers compensation insurance policy Section 155(1), 1987 Act $750 500 penalty units or imprisonment for six months, or both.
Keep and supply wage records Section 174, 1987 Act
Clause 166, 2016 Regulation
$500 500 penalty units
Have a register of injuries Section 256 and 63,  1998 Act
Clause 40, 2016 Regulation
$500 50 penalty units
Display a summary of the 1998 Act (poster) Section 231, 1998 Act  
Clause 39(1), 2016 Regulation
$200 20 penalty point
Have a RTW Coordinator (Category 1 employers) Clause 19, 2016 Regulation n/a 20 penalty units
Establish a return to work program Section 52, 1998 Act  
Clauses 11 to 14,  2016 Regulation
n/a 20 penalty units for category 1 employer
5 penalty units for category 2 employer
Display or notify the return to work program Section 52(2)(c), 1998 Act
Clauses 17 and 18, 2016 Regulation
n/a 10 penalty units for category 1 employer
2 penalty units for category 2 employer
Notify insurer of an incident or injury within 48 hours Section 44(2), 1998 Act
Clause 36, 2016 Regulation
$500 20 penalty units
Immediately notify regulator (Safework) of notifiable incidentSection 38, 2011 Act $10,000 for an individual and $50,000 for a body corporate
Forward documents related to the claim on request by insurer within seven days Sections 264(2) and 69(1), 1998 Act $500 50 penalty units
Provide name and address of employer and insurer to worker on request Section 232(2), 1998 Act $200 20 penalty units
Comply with the obligations imposed by or under insurer’s injury management program Section 43(5), 1998 Act n/a Failure to comply with employer improvement notice 100 penalty units
Participate and cooperate in the establishment of, and comply with obligations imposed by, the injury management plan
(excludes self-insured)
Section 46, 1998 Act
Clause 59, 2016 Regulation
n/a Failure to comply with employer improvement notice 100 penalty units
Provide suitable employment Section 49, 1998 Act n/a 50 penalty units
Employer must tell insurer if they are unable to provide suitable employment Schedule 3 Clause 20,  2016 Regulation n/a n/a
Pass on compensation monies owed to worker as soon as practicable Sections 264(3) and 69(1)(c), 1998 Act $500 50 penalty units
Must not dismiss a worker because of the injury within the relevant period (six months after the worker first became unfit for work unless otherwise specified) Section 248, 1987 Act n/a 100 penalty units

We conduct checks

We conduct compliance and education site visits, and write to employers from various sectors to make formal requests for information.

Site visits

Our education and compliance activities provide information, guidance, awareness and advice to help you comply with your obligations and understand the compliance risks associated with being uninsured or under-insured.

If we visit your business, we will ask you to provide a certificate of currency or current workers compensation insurance policy. We want to see your policy number, as well as the start or renewal date so we know your business and workers are properly covered.

If you don’t have a current workers compensation policy, you may be liable for an on-the-spot fine of $750. You may also be liable to pay up to double the cost of the workers compensation premiums you should have paid. In more serious circumstances, SIRA can prosecute you in court and you could receive a fine of up to $55,000, six months imprisonment, or both.

Wage audits

SIRA or your insurer may also conduct wage audits of employer records. We do this to make sure employers are paying the appropriate premiums. Under legislation, employers must keep and maintain records of all wages paid to workers they've employed (for at least five years after the last entry in the record).

Consider:

  • Do you offer accommodation in lieu of wages? Housing payments (including a company house, free housing and housing loans) are counted as remuneration.
  • Do you submit your final wage amounts at the end of the policy period? This is required by the insurer.
  • Do you deduct money from your workers’ wages for workers compensation? This is not lawful.

Read the compliance audit guidelines or read the fact sheet to see what the audit process entails.

Further information

These publications may also help you meet your obligations: