Harcourts Mandurah director faces fine for no work cover, but insurer showed support

Despite being fined $8000 on Monday for not paying workers’ compensation insurance for staff, a Mandurah real estate agent feels some vindication – the insurance company is on his side.

Benjamin Hatch, a director of Harcourts Mandurah, said GIO had ‘‘provided support’’ in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor told the court Harcourts had failed to cover 31 workers for almost a year. Hatch said the number was 26 – with the others not covered because they were management and/or directors.

He said failure to pay the premiums was an oversight because the company had not received reminders due to a mail mix-up. ‘’We do internal audits each year and this one was a month before our policy was due; the error was an oversight. We received no reminders from GIO.’’

Hatch said that when he discovered the oversight he paid the premium. He said WorkCover contacted the company three months after the bill was paid and the court case followed.

‘’GIO wrote to us to apologise and even supported us in court. They have now made a direct appointment to represent our office.’’

The maximum penalty for non-payment of premiums for 26 workers is $130,000.

Hatch was ordered to pay $649 in costs and the $4442 insurance premium.

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This article first appeared on Property Observer.

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