What Happens To My WorkCover Payments If I Quit My Job?

WorkCover payments are made to workers who have suffered an injury during the course of their employment and exist to provide the injured worker with a form of income while they heal from their injury. Ideally, a worker will recuperate and be able to return to work, but if the worker is taking a long time to heal or does not feel as though they will reach their full capacity they may feel like resigning. So, what happens to an injured worker’s WorkCover payments if they leave their job? Here’s what you need to know.

Can I quit my job if I am receiving WorkCover payments?

Although there is nothing legally stopping an injured worker from quitting their job, if you are healing from a work-related injury and receiving compensation it would be prudent to stay employed to ensure you continue to receive an income.

Your WorkCover payments will replace about 75% – 85% of your usual weekly earnings and may also include additional payments to cover medical, rehabilitation, pharmaceutical and travel costs. It may be frustrating to have an income of 15% – 25% less than you are used to, but you should allow yourself the time required to rest and heal from your injury rather than trying to return to work too quickly or worry about finding a new job.

If you have been injured at work and are receiving WorkCover payments but are also considering resigning from your job you should discuss this with your treating doctor in the first instance. They will be able to help you plan your recovery and return to work and the next best steps. You should also seek advice from a personal injury lawyer to help you understand your legal position and that of your employer.

Can I be fired if I am receiving WorkCover payments?

Your employer cannot legally terminate your employment within 12 months of being injured at work. If they are found to have illegally terminated your employment they face being fined up to $5,338.

After 12 months of receiving compensation, an employer may terminate an injured worker’s employment. If this occurs, WorkCover’s weekly payments are likely to reduce to 75% of the worker’s previous pay.

After two years of receiving WorkCover payments, if the injured worker is still not able to complete their usual duties and their capacity to work has been impaired by more than 15% they can continue to receive 75% of their ordinary weekly pay from WorkCover. If the worker’s injury has not impaired their capacity to work by more than 15%, their WorkCover payments will reduce to the rate at which the current Centrelink disability support pension is paid.

In addition, it is illegal for employers to hinder employees receiving WorkCover from professional development opportunities or promotions, stop them from working their regular hours (unless they are medically unfit to do so) or otherwise demote or suspend or suspend any injured worker who is unable to complete their duties.

Can I be made redundant while I am on WorkCover?

Employers must treat redundancies with care under any circumstances, but they should be particularly careful when making workers under WorkCover arrangements redundant.

If the redundancy is genuine then it is legal for an employer to terminate your employment while you are receiving WorkCover payments, even if less than 12 months have passed since you were injured.

Employers who are made redundant must be offered either a minimum notice period or payment in lieu of a notice period. This is in addition to redundancy pay and a payout of any applicable entitlements, including accrued annual or long service leave.

Our personal injury lawyers can assist if you need advice about resigning from your job while you are receiving WorkCover payments or if you feel you have been unlawfully fired or made redundant while off work due to an injury.

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