Journey Claims NSW – Workers Compensation to and from Work
In NSW you’re covered for workers compensation to and from work (known as a journey claims NSW) if there’s a real and substantial connection between the accident that caused your injury and your employment.
In this article we explain the situations where you may be eligible for workers compensation to and from work, highlight the occupations where employees are certainly covered for journey claims in NSW and any other circumstances where journey claims are warranted.
Journey claims NSW – what is it?
Under the NSW Workers Compensation Act, as a worker your journey commences from the moment you cross your home boundary to the moment you cross your employer’s boundary – and any injuries that occur during these trips are known as journey claims.
It’s important to note that your employer’s boundary is not limited to the work location or site; it can include shopping centres for retail workers, office buildings for office workers or carparks. So, the moment you cross this employer boundary on your way to work, the journey has ended.
When does workers compensation cover travel to and from work NSW?
In NSW, you’re only covered for workers compensation to and from work if there’s a real and substantial connection between your employment and the accident.
The term ‘real and substantial connection’, as it relates to journey claims, effectively means a strong and established reason beyond just travelling to or from work at the time of the accident. In order to be successful, you need to establish a special reason that links your employment to the accident.
For example, you’re forced to work late on a project and drive home in late night fog that obstructs your vision and causes you to have a serious accident. Or, you’re called into work at very late notice and you’re rushing to get there on time but trip down some stairs at the train station.
If you can prove this special work-related reason was a substantial contributor to the accident that caused your injury, there’s a good chance your claim will be successful.
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Workers compensation to and from work for certain occupations
Under the current legislation, NSW workers are eligible for workers compensation to and from work if they can prove a real and substantial connection to employment, but there are certain occupations where this isn’t needed to make a journey claim. These occupations include:
- Coal miners
- Police officers
- Fire fighters
- Emergency services volunteers
Are you covered for workers compensation on lunch break?
A lunch break is considered an authorised recess and as long as you’re not engaging in an unauthorised reckless activity, you’ll likely be covered for workers compensation even if you’re injured outside your employer’s boundary.
For example, if you’re a construction worker and break your ankle stepping off the gutter on the footpath on the way to a chicken shop at lunch, you would likely be entitled to workers compensation. If you’re an office worker and decide to go for a run on your lunch break and trip over and seriously injure your wrist, you’ll also likely be covered.
Where you likely won’t be covered is if you engage and are injured in an unauthorised reckless activity that was in no way encouraged by management, such as tackle football game at a nearby park.
Workers compensation to and from work – what a specialist lawyer can do for you
Establishing a real and substantial connection between your employment and the accident that caused your injury can be difficult and having an experienced workers compensation lawyer on your side will give you a much better chance of success. Your lawyer will gather and assess the necessary evidence, review your claim and ensure you receive your full entitlements. For more information, read our workers compensation claims guide.
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