WorkCover Queensland is running a series of regional roadshows from October to December in partnership with Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) to raise awareness on the importance of being covered for workers’ compensation.
The roadshows, which have reached over 550 principal agents across regional centres including Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane, aim to educate real estate agents on the financial risks of not protecting agencies and their employees against the cost of workplace injuries.
The Queensland real estate services sector lodged over 180 accepted workplace injury claims in 2016/ 2017, according to WorkCover Queensland figures. The average cost per claim increased over 4% to more than $7,900 compared with the previous year.
The most common injuries lodged by real estate sector employees in 2016/17 were back (36), psychiatric/ psychological (35) and knee and wrist (28 each).
REIQ CEO, Antonia Mercorella said the partnership had triggered a positive response from REIQ members.
“Our members have benefited greatly from the valuable opportunities to raise issues and have questions about workplace insurance answered on the spot,” Ms. Mercorella said.
“Feedback from members has been very positive with many agents advising they had learned key facts that they had previously been unaware of regarding employment insurance.”
WorkCover Queensland Industry Manager Services Industries, Tanya Cambey, said the REIQ member roadshows were helping members share information on workers’ compensation insurance.
“The vast majority of real estate sector employers do the right thing by accurately declaring their wages and ensuring they have adequate workers’ compensation coverage for their workers.
“However, it is concerning that some employers are still unaware of their duty to cover their workers for workplace accidents, while others are at risk of being under-insured and need clarity on the difference between a contractor and a worker,” Ms. Cambey said.
“There are significant financial risks and penalties for uninsured real estate agents, in some cases worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if an employee lodges a claim with WorkCover.
“Agents are at risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries during property inspections, while mental health-related claims are also emerging as a risk factor.
“Partnering with REIQ is also a great opportunity to raise awareness among the Queensland real estate sector of WorkCover’s household worker insurance policy and the value-added benefits agents can realise from promoting this policy to new homebuyers and renters,” Ms. Cambey said.
If employers are confused about their obligations to insure their workers against injury or who they need to cover, they can call WorkCover on 1300 362 128 for advice or apply for a policy online at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au