Cross-border provisions

Workers’ compensation schemes vary significantly between jurisdictions, which can lead to confusion for employers and workers. All jurisdictions have acknowledged this and, where applicable, have implemented cross-border provisions that are based on the National Cross-Border Model developed by Heads of Workers’ Compensation Authorities. Cross-border provisions provide coverage for workers who travel to or work temporarily in different jurisdictions, as long as workers meet a ‘state of connection’ test.

An injured worker’s state or territory of connection is determined by the following tests:

  • Test A — the territory or state in which the worker usually works in that employment, or
  • Test B — if not identified through (A) — the territory or state in which the worker is usually based for the purposes of that employment, or
  • Test C — if not identified through (A) or (B) — the territory or state in which the employer’s principal place of business in Australia is located.

If no state of connection can be determined for a worker and a worker is not entitled to compensation for the same matter under the laws of a place outside Australia, a worker’s employment is connected with the state where the injury occurred.

These tests are hierarchical, so if the first test does not provide an answer, the next test is applied until the worker’s status is determined. Special arrangements apply for workers on ships and a safety net also applies. Table 4.19 shows the status of implementation of the national cross-border model in each jurisdiction.