The country’s largest workers compensation insurer, icare, is protecting New South Wales employers from the cost of individual COVID-19 claims, and the National Road Transport Association is calling on others to follow suit.
icare says it will exclude any claims arising from a positive COVID-19 test, or as a result of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, from having an impact on its policy holders.
The agency says it wants to “protect any individual employer from disproportionately being impacted by COVID-19”.
Workers’ compensation provides financial support if a person is injured at work or becomes sick due to work, including contracting COVID-19 whilst working.
It can include payments to cover employee wages while they are unable to work, payments for medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, and lump sum payments where an injury is deemed permanent. It can also include payments to families for work-related deaths.
“Workers compensation premiums are a significant part of the cost of doing business for employers in our sector, no matter their size,” said NatRoad CEO Warren Clark.
“After all that our industry has been through during the pandemic, this is good news.
“We trust that workers compensation providers in the other jurisdictions will do the same as icare.”
In some circumstances, COVID-19 may be a compensable workplace injury as a disease is included in the definition of injury under the NSW Workers Compensation Act.
icare provides a workers compensation scheme covering more than 326,000 employers and 3.6 million workers in NSW.