Unfortunately, no, you don’t get paid for public holidays on workers compensation. Employees also don’t get special rates on public holidays. That's because your weekly benefits are already included in your pre-injury average weekly earnings or PIAWE. However, some insurance providers offer more comprehensive policies for workers that can cover compensation for holidays.In this blog post, you will learn everything you need to know about workers compensation, public holidays and other special coverage.
What is Workers Compensation & Why is it Important?
This type of insurance policy provides you with a financial safety net in case you get injured or sick because of work. Workers compensation plays a vital role, especially for employees who work in hazardous environments.In Australia, the law requires all employers to have workers compensation insurance to protect their employees in case they get ill or injured because of work.Read our blog "Workers Compensation Insurance: Facts You Need to Know" for more information.
Importance of Workers Compensation
As mentioned, workers compensation insurance provides financial support, so injured or sick employees can focus on recovery without worrying about the treatment costs. Some policies also cover rehabilitation services to ensure the person’s safe and successful recovery.Depending on your provider and policy, the workers compensation may include the following:
- Cover some of the wages until the person is fit to work again
- Cover medical and hospital bills
- Cover for rehabilitation treatments
Employees with a comprehensive workers compensation policy may also receive the following:
- A lump sum payment for permanent impairment
- Funeral expenses, period payments for dependents and lump sum compensation support for dependents in case of death (at or because of work)
- Support services, including education and training, domestic assistance and access to medical specialists and rehabilitation providers
More About Workers Compensation in Australia
Workers compensation in Australia has different schemes that connect sick or injured employees to services and support from the employer’s insurance provider. Take note these schemes may vary from state to state. Each policy also follows certain laws. That’s why it’s important for workers to fully understand the coverage of their insurance policy.At Connect Business Insurance we make sure our clients understand the scope of their workers compensation policy. We can also customise your cover to suit your requirements. Contact us today to get a free quote.
Public Holidays & Work Compensation
In Australia, part-time and full-time employees should still get paid even if they don’t work on public holidays. These workers should be paid their minimum rate for the regular hours they usually work on that day. Employees who work on a public holiday should also get a “penalty” rate, which is higher than their regular pay rate.Note: All employees can take a day off on a public holiday, but employers may also ask them to work. While employees can say no, they need valid reasons for not reporting to work. Usually, companies have policies about taking a day off on a public holiday.
How to Calculate Holiday Compensation
For workers employees on a public holiday, they should be paid 3x of their hourly pay rate. You can also refer to this tool to compute your holiday compensation.
Annual and Sick Leaves During Workers Compensation: What’s the Policy?
Keep in mind that even if the employee may take leaves during workers compensation, the procedure still depends on the state law that applies to them. According to Section 130 of the Fair Work Act 2009, workers cannot accumulate or take leave during workers compensation unless the workers compensation policy permits them.For more information, you can enquire to your state’s workers compensation regulator to avoid discrepancies in the future.
Does Annual Leave Accumulate While on Workers Compensation?
Again this depends, on each state or territory you’re working in. Here are the basic rules for each state in Australia:In New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Westen Australia, annual leaves accumulate during workers compensation. The same thing goes for employees working in South Australia. However, the policy is a bit different for workers who are totally incapacitated during workers compensation for 52 weeks or more.Annual leaves for employees working in South Australia have been included or paid by the workers compensation policy. However, for those who get annual leave loading under a special contract or agreement can still get paid during the annual leave.On the other hand, annual leaves do not accumulate while on workers compensation for employees in Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. For commonwealth employees, annual leave can only accumulate for 45 weeks.
Does Sick Leave Accumulate While on Workers Compensation?
For employees working in Queensland and Soth Australia, sick leaves accumulate white on workers compensation. On the other hand, sick leaves do not accumulate for employees working in Australian Captial Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Norfolk Island.
My Employer Does Not Pay Workers Compensation. What Should I Do?
There have been reports where the insurer accepts the workers' compensation claim but the employer fails to give it to the employee. If this happens, here are the steps to follow to resolve this issue:
- Reach out to the employer to find out what happened.
- Call the insurance provider to inform them about the incident.
- Reach out to the state’s workers compensation regulator to report the incident.
Employees When Going Back to Work
Sometimes, employees on workers compensation can go back to work on reduced hours and duties while recovering from an injury or sickness. These employees can accumulate annual and sick leave based on the reduced work hours. They may also take annual and sick leave during the recovery period.Keep in mind that this policy should be observed in all Australian states and territories. Moreover, employees who are going back to work on reduced hours may also accumulate annual and sick leave without reporting to work.Check out this example:Mark works full-time in NSW. Mark is unable to work because of a work-related injury. After 3 months on workers compensation, Mark returned to work on reduced hours for 20 hours weekly. Mark still receives 18 hours of weekly compensation. According to workers compensation policy in NSW, Mark should accumulate annual leave on both his hours and worked hours when he returns to work.
Workers Compensation Insurance Costs
The costs of workers compensation insurance may also vary, depending on the location. Other factors that can affect the premium rate include work environment or industry and history of claims. Check the average premium rate of workers compensation below:StateAverage Premium RateNSW1.4%VIC1.272%QLD1.23%WA1.8222%SA1.8%TAS2.08%ACT2.33%How to Compute: Just multiply the amount you spend on remuneration by the indicated average premium rate to determine the estimated cost of the workers compensation premium.
The Bottom Line
Getting workers compensation is important, and it’s not just because the law mandates companies or employers. This is also an excellent investment to protect you and your workers in the long run. As mentioned, it provides employees with a financial safety net in case they get sick or sustain injuries because of work.Looking for a reliable insurance provider in Australia? Connect Business Insurance have you covered! We offer comprehensive business insurance services, including workers compensation, construction insurance, professional indemnity insurance and much more. Allow our dynamic team of insurance brokers to customise an insurance policy that fits your budget and specific requirements. Call us now to get a free quote!Note: The material offered here is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legally binding advice and should not be a substitute for a consultation with an insurance expert.