WorkCover NSW is responsible for making sure that all people working in the sex industry are safe at work, and that they follow health and safety laws. WorkCover can send inspectors to a workplace to check compliance. WorkCover is also responsible for regulating workers compensation insurance.
All employers and managers must look after the health, safety and welfare of their employees, contractors, clients and visitors to the workplace. If they do not, they can face legal action under laws regulated by WorkCover.
Employers must protect the health of sex workers by:
Employers must protect the safety of workers by providing:
injury management programs for injured workers.
Sex industry workers must:
cooperate with workplace policies and procedures developed to promote health and safety.
Anybody who operates a business and employs workers and/or engages contractors must have a current workers compensation insurance policy from a licensed WorkCover insurer. All employers have to pay compensation to workers who are injured in the course of their work. Employers who do not have insurance may incur penalties, including a fine of up to $55,000, six months imprisonment and compensation to the injured worker.
Workers compensation insurance provides protection to workers and employers in the event of a workplace-related injury or illness. Injured employees or contractors can receive payments to cover loss of earning capacity, payment of medical expenses and, where necessary, to help them return to work. An injured worker can make a claim even if their employer does not have workers compensation insurance. But the employer then faces fines from WorkCover and the costs of compensation.
Public liability insurance covers a business owner’s legal liability for compensation if someone who is not an employee or contractor—such as a client or visitor—suffers injury, damage to property, or death as a result of the business.
If someone contracts an illness or disease, or is injured because of their employment:
Employers should also have an injury management program to help injured workers continue work or return to work after injury. Employers must display a summary of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 in the workplace.
WorkCover inspectors have the right to enter any workplace in NSW. If they come to your workplace:
You may incur a fine if you do not help WorkCover inspectors with their investigation.
If a business does not comply with WorkCover regulations, it may incur large fines and possible legal action. WorkCover staff can issue:
These breaches may also lead to separate action by the local council.
SWOP can help sex services premises owners to:
provide training and resource material.