Australian Worker Compensation Scheme: Employee Rights

Getting the Most Out of Your University Experience

The following article is a guest post.

Workers compensation is a no-fault system which is followed for all injuries, illnesses and deaths that take place at workplace. Insurance is mandatory for every business. As per the law, the injury can either be mental or physical, and includes any disease contracted at the site during the employment.

If a disease or injury occurs, then also the policies apply. Injuries and diseases occurred while commuting to work also come under workers’ compensation.

The rules do vary from state to state, but the basic rights obligations under workers compensation scheme are generally the same across the country. Reach out to companies like Law Advice Compensation Lawyers for legal details.

Worker Definition.

The term worker has a broad meaning. All full time workers on wages/salaries, part time workers, casual or seasonal workers, commission based workers and piece workers are included. Many a times, subcontractors and contractors are also classified as workers, but this depends on the circumstances.

Compensation Payments.

Compensation is divided into two main categories:

  • Weekly payments – compensate for income that is lost during the time an employee is sick or injured;
  • Medical expenses – bills and expenses that incur during the course of treatment for your illness.

Generally, you receive compensations for injuries that arise at work. In many cases, injuries during the lunchtime may also be included. The law refers to the period as ‘course of employment’ which is again a broad term.  Simply put, all activities that you do as part of work or activities that are organized by your employer are all included, even work related leisure trips. Compensation for all these cases is usually ‘no fault’, so you are entitled to receive it, even if you don’t act according to your company’s policy.

Your employer is obliged to sign up for a workers’ compensation scheme offered by a territory or state insurance fund. The premium amount depends on the payroll, risk scores of the particular industry and past performance. Your employer can also ‘self-insure’ upon meeting a certain criteria.

Generally, you are no more entitled to weekly payments 2 years from the date when the injury or illness occurred. Even if you returned to work in some capacity during this time, your entitlement ceases. The only exception is when you have to undergo surgery as treatment of the work related injury after 2 years; but payments are paid for 13 weeks only.

If you are a seriously injured worker, meaning that your injury has resulted in permanent impairment, then you would continue to receive weekly compensations. For you to be entitled, you should have a whole person impairment of 30%.

Public Holidays.

You are generally not entitled for payments on a public holiday if you are absent under the workers compensation scheme, unless explicitly mandated by the law in your particular area.

Long Service Leave.

Long service leave rights vary from state to state. For instance, your long service leaves add up if you are in Queensland or New South Wales. However, if you are in Victoria, then your leaves are not accrued if you stay away from work for 48 weeks in a year.

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest

Sharing my adventures in lifestyle design, building an online business, and growing this blog. Join me for weekly updates.

Previous ArticleNext Article