Workers Compensation and the Holidays

23 DEC 2021


Have you been injured at work? Do you intend to make a claim? Do you know your leave entitlements? 

Over the Christmas break and into the New Year, employees are typically entitled to higher rates of pay for working on public holidays. Now that you are on Workers Compensation, you are probably wondering whether you are able to claim additional payments for those public holidays on which you otherwise would have worked.

Unfortunately, your weekly compensation benefits will not increase during weeks that include public holidays. This is because your weekly benefits have been calculated on a ‘pre-injury average weekly earnings’ basis (PIAWE). Your PIAWE is calculated on the average of your earnings for the 12 month period preceding your injury. This may include payments you received during that period for public holidays. This is especially the case for employees who are paid wages as opposed to a yearly salary. In this sense, you are essentially already receiving compensation for public holidays that you would have worked, had you not been injured. 

Annual Leave Accrual 

Great news — it is widely accepted that an employee who is receiving workers compensation payments will still accrue annual leave. This means that even though you’re not working, you will still receive the benefit of annual leave accumulation. 

Long Service Leave Accrual 

The situation relating to long service leave will generally depend upon your agreement with your employer. However, it is common practice that an employee continues to accrue long service leave during the time that they are on workers compensation. 

Sick Leave Accrual 

Here, an important distinction is to be drawn as to whether you are a Commonwealth employee or a New South Wales employee. This is because Commonwealth employees are entitled to accrue 45 weeks of sick leave while on workers compensation. In comparison, employees who fall under the New South Wales workers compensation scheme, cannot accumulate sick leave while on workers compensation. 

Has your Workers Compensation claim not yet been accepted? 

It is common practice for employees to use their sick leave or annual leave entitlements, in the period before the claim has been accepted by the insurer. 

Once your claim is accepted, you may be entitled to claim wages for the time you had off work, as a result of your injury. This may result in a reimbursement of your leave entitlements. 

Do you think you have a claim? Do you have any questions regarding your leave entitlements? Contact our Injury Compensation Team today on (02) 4626 5077.  

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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