Am I Eligible For WorkCover If I am On A Working Visa?

As people become confident to travel once again, thousands of visitors will plan to spend extended working holidays in Australia. With world-famous agriculture, tourism and hospitality industries as well as a laid-back lifestyle, Australia draws vast amounts of people seeking to take advantage of the boundless travel opportunities while also earning some money during their time here.

Travellers on working visas are often misled to believe that they do not have the same working rights as permanent residents or citizens, but that is not the case. So long as the traveller holds a valid visa allowing them to work, they also have the eligibility to make a claim for workers’ compensation in the off chance they sustain an injury in the workplace.

What rights are held by a worker on a temporary visa in Australia?

All workers in Australia – including those on temporary visas with working rights – must be covered by insurance, which is to be taken out by their employer. This allows workers to seek compensation to pay for medical appointments, rehabilitation and lost wages in the instance they are injured because of a work-related incident.

Despite being covered for workplace injuries, the employee must also be sure to maintain their own safety whilst at work, including:

  • following any rules and regulations intended to keep workers safe;
  • acting in a responsible manner so they and others are safe from harm;
  • not attempting to work whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • ensuring all equipment is used carefully and in its intended manner and asking for assistance if they are unsure about proper use; and
  • making use of all safety equipment and requesting adequate equipment if required.

In addition to taking out workers’ compensation insurance, employers must:

  • provide enough staffing resources to ensure tasks can be undertaken safely;
  • provide instructions on how to undertake tasks safely;
  • ensure their workers have up-to-date licenses for specialist tasks, such as driving a forklift; and
  • provide adequate tools and safety equipment, which should all be in good working condition.

Am I still covered by WorkCover if I am working outside of my visa’s employment conditions?

It is illegal for both the employee and the employer to allow employment to occur outside of the employee’s visa’s employment conditions. If you are injured while working illegally in Queensland and attempt to seek compensation, you may be subject to fines, detainment or even deportation, so it is crucial that you clearly understand the conditions of your working visa and avoid working outside of them.

How can I make a claim for workers’ compensation if I am on a working visa?

As soon as possible after the accident occurs, you should be sure to tell your employer. They should take details about the incident and fill out a workplace incident form. Workers’ compensation claims rely on accurate documentation by official sources, such as doctors, so you should also seek medical attention either at a hospital or a medical centre (or your GP if you have one) and explain to them in detail how the injury was sustained and exactly how it has been affecting you since the accident. It is important that this information is recorded as close to the time of the accident as possible in case your condition deteriorates. You have the right to seek attention from a doctor of your own choosing.

It is also important to note that strict time limits apply when seeking compensation for work-related injuries, so after seeking medical attention you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the process and put together a strong claim for compensation.

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