What You Need to Know about the Worker’s Compensation Act



As all good employers know, a business is only as good as the people who work there. A main focus for employers and their human resource team, is to hire and retain quality employees. This can be challenging across industries, but what happens when an employee gets injured on the job?


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Under the Worker’s Compensation Act, employers are required to pay defined benefits to their employees in the event of a work related injury or illness. This is where insurance comes in, as it is our job as an insurer to protect you and help you to protect your employees.

So what is an employer responsible for in the event of a work-related injury? This includes medical expenses, up to defined limits, that are incurred as a direct result of an accident or illness as well as salary, including any bonuses or payments that were of a constant nature prior to the incident, the amount of which depends on the injury.

It is everyone’s wish that there not be any work-related injury, but we also must prepare for the worst. Injuries can range from minor to more serious, and in the worst events may even result in the death of an employee. The Worker’s Compensation Act outlines employer liability for work-related accidents that incapacitate the employee for at least three consecutive days.

In the event of a work-related death, employers are liable to pay the deceased employee’s full annual income to his or her dependants who are wholly dependent on those earnings. If a deceased employee leaves behind partial dependants, compensation is determined by the court and in the case of no dependants, employers are responsible for the reasonable expenses of the burial, up to $2,000.

Fortunately, death is an extreme unliklihood. The Act also outlines employer liability in the unlikely events of full, partial and temporary incapacitation as a result of a work injury. In the event of full incapacatation, the employee is compensated based on their actual salary. If the full incapacatiation requires the constant assistance of another person, additional compensation is owed. For partial and temporary incapacitation, salary is owed based on the duration of the incapactation and, in the latter case, determined by the court.

The Act applies to all employees with the exception of people under the age of 16, casual workers, part-time workers, temporary employees, students and volunteer workers. These individuals still may receive benefits from their employers at the employer’s discretion.

So where does insurance come in? Argus provides Workers’ Compensation Insurance, including Employer’s Liability, that protects your business and employees. Argus policies will cover employers against their legal obligations noted above and in the Worker’s Compensation Act. This includes cover for income payment and medical expenses related to the accident.

The Act may seem complicated to understand with its many amendments and sections. If you have any questions about your statutory liabilities to your employees, or your insurance cover, contact Argus at 298-0888 to learn more.


Michelle Jackson is responsible for overseeing the Group Insurance department which includes Health Insurance, Group Life and Disability as well as Worker’s Compensation. Michelle joined the company in 2004. 

This guide is not a substitute for professional advice, you should always consult with your independent professional advisor.