Published: 20 September 2017
Author: Ross Inglis

Apprentice jockeys now fully covered by WorkCover

The Victorian Government is about to introduce amendments to the WorkPlace Rehabilitation Compensation Act 2013 that will extend the protections offered to apprentice jockeys by WorkCover.

Under the proposed amendments apprentices will now be covered for workers compensation under the relevant legislation by Racing Victoria at any time when they are riding a horse on a licensed race track or training track.

This will relate to track work, jump outs, official trials and races. Previously the apprentices were only covered by Racing Victoria while riding in an official trial or in an official race.

The amendments bring Victoria into line with other states so that apprentices are now fully covered by the peak racing body at any time when they are riding a horse at the appropriate venue. If an apprentice is injured while working for their master on the master's premises then that claim would be made against their master under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013.

What counts as a “training track”?

The meaning of the words "training track" and “environment" have also been clarified. The effect of the amendments will clarify that both jockeys and apprentices are covered while riding to a racetrack or training venue via an established connecting pathway that has been approved by the responsible venue manager.

With respect to remuneration this will include clearer definitions to encompass all income being paid to jockeys and/or apprentices associated with their performance of their services.

Worksafe will issue new guidelines on the obligations in returning jockeys and apprentices to work.

The racing industry and stakeholders have worked together with the government to produce an outcome that is satisfactory to all concerned.

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