Workers Compensation for Casual Employees
If you’re one of the 832,000 casual employees working in NSW, it’s important to know that you’re covered for workers compensation benefits if you’re injured at work or suffer illness that was caused by work.
In this article we explain how to claim workers compensation for casual employees, along with your entitlements, rights and options under the NSW workers compensation scheme.
Casual worker injured at work – what should you do?
If you’re a casual employee injured at work, you’re covered for workers compensation but it’s important you follow certain steps to ensure your injury is registered and your benefits can commence. These steps include:
- Notify your manager that you’ve suffered an injury or illness caused by work as soon as it happens and include details such as date/time, how it happened and what the injury/illness is.
- Visit your doctor and have them conduct a full assessment of your injuries and provide you with a certificate of capacity.
- Find out who your employer’s insurer is and contact them 48 hours after notifying your employer to see if your employer has informed them of your injury.
It’s not always a necessary requirement but it can be really helpful to contact a specialist workers compensation lawyer, even if it’s just for free advice, to outline your options and advise you on everything you’re entitled to.
Casual employee injured at work – what are your entitlements?
Workers compensation or WorkCover for casual employees (as it was once known), exists to provide you with financial and medical support when you can’t work as a result of a work accident. As long as your doctor certifies you unfit to resume your pre-injury duties you’re entitled to:
- Weekly benefits in accordance to your entitlement period.
- Reasonably necessary medical treatment.
- Lump sum compensation for permanent impairment if your injury/illness is deemed serious enough.
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Casual worker injured at work – can you be terminated whilst on workers compensation?
It’s illegal for your employer to terminate or make you redundant whilst on workers compensation within the first six months since your injury. This six month period is known as the ‘protected period’ and it’s up to your employer to do everything possible to support you and help your get back to work. This includes:
- Playing an active role in developing you an injury management plan.
- Providing you with appropriate suitable duties wherever practicably reasonable once you’re cleared to return to work under certain restrictions.
- Adhere to the obligations outlined in the injury management plan.
If you’re still not cleared to return to work six months after the injury and your employer terminates you, workers compensation for casual employees is still available as long as your doctor continues to certify you unfit to commence your pre-injury duties.
Casual worker injured at work – can you sue your employer?
As a casual employee injured at work, you may be entitled to sue your employer for damages if your injury is quite serious and prevents you from returning to work. In order to make a damages claim you need to satisfy the following criteria:
- The injury was the result of your former employer’s negligence.
- Your whole person impairment is at least 15%.
Meeting the above criteria will enable you to make a Work Injury Damages claim which is a lump payout for past and future loss of earnings, compensation for wages and superannuation lost because you have been unable to work or are unable to work into the future.
Casual worker on a visa injured at work – are you still covered for workers compensation?
Workers compensation for casual employees is not only limited to citizens and permanent residents. If you’re a casual worker on a visa which permits you to work in Australia and you’re injured at work, you’re most certainly eligible to claim workers compensation benefits.
In terms of medical treatment, this could continue as long as it’s deemed reasonably necessary by the insurer.
If you need advice on your entitlement to workers compensation in NSW, you can call Law Partners on 13 15 15 and get free advice from a workers compensation lawyer. Or, read our workers compensation claims guide.
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