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Do You Receive Superannuation While On Workers Compensation?

Man looking up his super before making a TPD claim.

Workers compensation is a financial safety net while you recover from an injury or illness that happened on the job, and it’s one of a few things your employer has a responsibility to do to keep you safe. Among these responsibilities is the payment of superannuation. Workers compensation, previously known as WorkCover, compensates you for up to 95% of your lost wages as well as funding treatment and rehabilitation costs, and potentially even a lump sum payment in some cases. While you’re paid super when working normally, you may not be entitled to it if you’re receiving workers compensation. Read on to learn more about your situation.

When an injury occurs, knowing your rights and entitlements makes it easier to focus on recovery. This guide focuses on superannuation (or ‘super’) and workers, and answers the question: do you get paid superannuation when on workers compensation?

Workers & Superannuation

Superannuation is one responsibility that your employer must pay on your behalf. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) sets a minimum amount of your wage that your employer must pay into a super account of your choosing that builds up as saving for when you retire from the workforce. That amount is currently 10.5% (as of July 2022) and will continue to increase by .5% every year until it reaches 12% in 2025. Your employer will pay your super into the designated account at least every three months, but some will do so as regularly as every pay cycle.

This applies in the normal course of your employment, but not always when you’re on workers compensation. If you’ve been injured then super might not be front of mind, and it can be difficult to talk to your employer about. However, it’s important to know what your superannuation entitlements are, and how they’re being handled by your employer. Checking in on your super account every three months or so is a good way to stay on top of its growth and make sure that you’re being paid correctly.

Once you know what’s happening with your super account generally, you can look at the bigger picture. So, do you get paid super when on workers compensation?

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Do you get paid superannuation when on workers compensation?

The answer is generally no, in NSW most employers won’t continue to cover superannuation while you’re receiving workers compensation. This is because workers compensation is not considered your ordinary time earnings (OTE), and therefore doesn’t qualify for the payment. There are of course exceptions. If you return to work in any capacity while still receiving workers compensation, then you’ll receive super for the hours that you actually work.

There are some Modern Awards which do include super while you’re on workers comp.  For example, in the building and construction industry you’re entitled to super while away from work recovering from an injury sustained on the job. To check your specific award, you can look at the Fair Work Commission’s website. Another influencing factor is how long you’ve been on workers compensation. Most policies or awards where you do get super are capped after 52 weeks of workers compensation payments. This means that while you’ll continue to receive your weekly allowance, the super contributions will stop.

If you’re recovering from an injury and receiving workers compensation, you probably aren’t entitled to your regular superannuation, but having a sound understanding of your rights can help you navigate what to do next. Once you know how your super has been dealt with in the past, you can check what you’re entitled to in the present. For further information, or help approaching any situation involving a workers compensation payment, give us a call and chat to an experienced workers compensation lawyer today, or alternatively, tell us about your case and we’ll review it and get in touch.   

Robert Hopper bio pic

Robert Hopper

Managing Solicitor

An accredited specialist in personal injury law, backed by over 15 years’ experience in assisting injured Australians receive everything they’re entitled to with their workers compensation claim.

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