New workers compensation arrangements for NSW councils

Workers compensation arrangements will change for Councils merged as part of the NSW Government Stronger Councils reforms.

Workers compensation coverage

Council staff will continue to be covered for workers compensation insurance purposes through existing policies or self-insurance licences of the former councils until new arrangements are entered into. Workers compensation policies, self-insurance licences and any associated claims are treated as assets and liabilities and are transferred from each former council to the new council. As a result, there will be no break in continuity in workers compensation coverage for new councils.

New workers compensation arrangements

The transfer of workers compensation policies to new councils can result in some new councils holding more than one policy.

As employers cannot hold more than one workers compensation policy at a time, we will work with affected councils to help them establish new arrangements and move towards maintaining only one policy within a reasonable period of time. We consider that all new councils should be compliant with the Worker Compensation Act and have new arrangements in place within 12 months.

Note: Self-insurance licences are not considered a “policy” under the Workers Compensation Act.

Renewal of existing policies or self-insurance licences

Workers compensation policies often expire at the end of the financial year but the new councils will need to check the expiry dates of the workers compensation policies and self-insurance licences.

Where a new council has not determined its new workers compensation arrangements by the time the renewal of a policy or self insurance licence is required, they may be able to renew existing policies and licences using the existing processes.

However, as noted above, new councils will need to work towards maintaining only one workers compensation policy within a reasonable period of time.


Self-insurance enables an organisation to insure its own workers against workplace injuries and administer their own claims process. Self-insurance licences generally apply for a three year period.

Where a former council was self-insured and a new council would like to become a self insurer for all of their staff, councils may apply to renew the existing self insurance licence in the name of the new council.

Further information on the requirements and process for obtaining a self insurance licence can be found on our website.

Further information

We will work with new councils to assist them to understand their workers compensation options and move towards compliance. Councils can contact Darren Parker, Director of Licencing and Monitoring, for further information. Darren Parker can be contacted by phone on 02 8270 2644 or by email at

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