Company’s ‘failure to provide’ results in $24,000 workers’ comp fine

Recently, a South-East Queensland firm specialising in audio-visual services faced a significant fine of $24,000 due to its neglect in complying with an investigator’s demand for critical documents. This firm pleaded guilty to their failure to supply required paperwork during an enquiry into suspected workers’ compensation fraud. Consequently, the Magistrate imposed a hefty penalty on the business.

In addition to the court’s imposed fine, the company was ordered to cover $4,500 in costs for the Workers’ Compensation Regulator. An investigator from workers’ compensation, while probing suspected fraud, came to understand that essential information could be gleaned from this audio-visual business. Using legislation-backed powers, the investigator issued a formal notice asking for these documents. Despite being granted multiple extensions, the business remained non-compliant.

During sentencing, the legislation’s purpose and the significance of enabling inspectors and investigators to fulfil their roles were underscored by the Magistrate. He noted that these professionals are well within their rights and hold the requisite authority to request all reasonable information, free from interference. The business’s failure to meet these requirements was seen as undermining public trust in the worker’s compensation scheme, something that the Prosecutor emphasised when arguing for compliance at first instance.

The Magistrate pointed out that his decision to fine served a greater purpose; it acted as a deterrent, discouraging other businesses from sidestepping their obligations under the appropriate legislation. Importantly, no conviction was recorded against the audio-visual business.