Many casual workers are unsure of their rights and entitlements when it comes to their job. People commonly have questions about annual leave and award wages. However, there is another confusing and equally important area that casual workers need to be aware of – workers’ compensation – including their rights and entitlements when it comes to claiming compensation for work-related injuries.
In this article we’re going to walk you through the workers’ compensation process, your potential entitlements, and common job security concerns to help you better understand Workers’ compensation as a casual employee. Let’s get started!
- Casual employees in Queensland are entitled to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries, with rights and processes similar to full-time employees.
- To claim workers’ compensation, casual workers must promptly seek medical attention, report the injury, submit required forms and medical certificates, and provide comprehensive documentation.
- It’s advisable for casual workers to seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation claims and to understand their entitlements, including weekly payments and medical expense reimbursements.
- Casual workers are legally protected against dismissal for making workers’ compensation claims, though they may face job uncertainty, highlighting the importance of legal support in these situations.
- South East Injury Lawyers specialise in workers’ compensation cases, including for casual workers, offering no win no fee services to assist clients in successfully claiming their entitlements.
Navigating Workers’ Compensation Claims for Casual Workers’
Workers’ compensation is an insurance that allows employees who get hurt or sick due to work activities to claim compensation. Casual employees in Queensland are covered by their employer’s WorkCover accident insurance policy, which is also known as workers’ compensation insurance, just like any other employee.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation, the casual worker needs to prove that their injury or illness was caused by their work activities or conditions.
As a casual worker, understanding the correct procedures can simplify the process to claim Workers’ compensation, instead of merely claiming workers’ compensation.
Starting Your Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim as a casual worker involves a few essential steps:
- Consult your doctor about your injury and obtain a workers’ compensation medical certificate.
- Promptly report the injury to your employer.
- Fill out the workers’ compensation claim form.
- Attach your certificate of capacity to the form.
- Submit the form to your employer.
Keep in mind, expediency is encouraged as there’s a time limit for starting a workers’ compensation claim in Queensland.
To support your claim, you’ll need to provide the following essential documents:
- A work capacity certificate from your doctor
- A medical certificate or statutory declaration about your illness or injury
- Enough medical evidence to back up your claim.
Incident reports, providing a comprehensive description of the incident and its impact on you, are of great significance. Similarly, employment records are extremely important as evidence that the injury or illness occurred during your work.
Submitting Your Claim
To submit your claim, you can use online platforms like the WorkCover website. Keep in mind that casual workers don’t need their employer’s permission to submit a workers’ compensation claim. After submitting your claim, be sure to follow up on it to ensure it’s being processed and taken care of.
If you face any difficulties or intimidation from your employer, don’t hesitate to reach out to WorkCover for advice or get in touch with a personal injury lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation matters.
In fact, before submitting any claims or even starting the process, we do recommend seeking legal advice. Compensation claims can be overwhelming and challenging, and a workers’ compensation lawyer can guide you through the whole process and ensure you get your maximum entitlements.
Understanding Your Entitlements as a Casual Employee
Casual employees are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits, including WorkCover benefits, as other workers. These benefits encompass weekly payments of compensation, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs. Understanding these entitlements can help you ensure that you receive the appropriate support and compensation in the event of a workplace injury.
Weekly Compensation Benefits
Calculating compensation for lost income for a casual worker is usually based on the average number of hours worked per week over the past 12 months, or since they started the job if it’s been less than that.
Casual employees are entitled to receive weekly payments and in order to receive your weekly payments, you will require certificates of capacity from a treating medical practitioner or any other kind of health professional. This certificate is necessary for claiming the payments.
There may be factors unique to your situation that could impact your entitlements and again, we recommend seeking legal advice before commencing a claim. That way you can understand any potential obstacles and ensure that you are eligible to make a claim. Many workers’ compensation lawyers (like us) offer free case reviews, so you can find out where you stand early!
Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation Costs
Casual workers can get reimbursed for the reasonable costs of medical and like expenses from their WorkCover Insurer. Reasonable costs refer to expenses that are deemed reasonable and medically necessary, such as medical treatments and rehabilitation expenses, costs for healthcare professionals, and hospital visits.
Injured casual workers can access a range of rehabilitation services including physiotherapists and may even work with a healthcare professional to create a return-to-work plan to guide them through their recovery and reintegration into the workforce.
Lump Sum Payments for Permanent Impairment
If a casual worker suffers a severe injury that prevents them from ever returning to work, they can lodge a claim for a lump sum payment for permanent impairment. However, not everyone who is injured at work is eligible for this type of compensation and seeking legal counsel can assist in ensuring you get the right compensation and support.
Casual Employment and Job Security Concerns
It’s against the law for an employer to fire a casual worker if they get injured on the job or make a WorkCover claim. However, casual workers usually have less job security than permanent workers, and making a workers’ compensation claim can affect their job security, causing uncertainty for both the worker and the employer.
Enduring Job Uncertainty
Casual employees may face job uncertainty after making a workers’ compensation claim, as their claim might be rejected, pending, or they may not be given any further shifts at work. While the specifics may vary based on the situation and industry, it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences of claiming workers’ compensation as a casual worker.
Despite these challenges, casual workers are legally protected from being dismissed after filing a workers’ compensation claim. As workers’ compensation lawyers, we can guide you through this information so that you understand all of your options and rights.
Legal Protection Against Unfair Dismissal
Casual workers are safeguarded from being dismissed due to a workplace injury or while receiving workers’ compensation payments through the Dismissal Protection for Injured Workers in Queensland and the unfair dismissal laws under the Fair Work Act in Australia. If you believe you have been unfairly dismissed after claiming workers’ compensation, you have the right to take action and apply for reinstatement or compensation.
When Should You See Legal Advice?
Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, and it’s crucial for anyone thinking about making a claim, not just casual employees, to seek legal advice.
Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re in the process of recovering from an injury and stressed about your situation. Our experience allows us to not only inform you of all of your options, but we can advocate for you and ensure you receive what you’re entitled to.
Casual workers may face challenges when making a workers’ compensation claim, such as proving their employer was negligent, connecting their injury to the employer’s actions, and gathering proof. Disputes can also arise from identifying hazards, negligence claims, disagreements over statutory benefits vs. common law damages, and injuries caused by specific events or conditions at work. As your legal representative, we can remove the confusion and fear of the compensation claim process.
We also understand that as a casual employee you may be concerned about your job security and financial strain. We offer our services on a no win no fee basis, so that you will not be out of pocket if you choose to work with us and your claim is unsuccessful.
If you’re looking for a workers’ compensation lawyer in and around Brisbane and the surrounding areas, talk to us at South East Injury Lawyers today. We’re experienced in helping people successfully receive their workers’ compensation entitlements in various industries and we understand the concerns and health and safety issues specific to casual work.
Call us on 1300 446 999 or book a free case review online here.