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Can Casual Employees Claim Workers Compensation In Queensland?

By 20 February 2022News & Articles
A printed casual workers timesheet with a black pencil resting on top of it. Used to calculate average hours worked for a WorkCover injury compensation for casual employees in Queensland.

Casual employees make up a large proportion of the Australian Workforce, with around 3 million people casually employed. Casual workers can be employed directly by an employer or through a labour hire agency.

Casual workers are usually employed in temporary or contract jobs and work irregular hours. They are not entitled to sick pay or holiday leave like full time employees.

While casual employees often endure job uncertainty, from a workers compensation perspective, all casual employees are treated the same as full time workers.

Casual work can make employees especially vulnerable to injury from health and safety issues. Casual employees can miss out on crucial advice about assessed risks of injury, safe manual handling advice and safety procedures.


What am I Entitled to as a Casual Employee?

Every casual employee is covered by WorkCover in Queensland. This is a workers’ compensation insurance that exists in Queensland and covers serious work-related injuries that impact an employee’s ability to work or their overall lifestyle. An employee may be entitled to weekly payments to cover loss of income, money to cover medical and rehabilitation expenses or a lump sum if the casual worker is permanently impaired by the injury suffered at work.

Alternatively, if a casual employee experiences psychological injuries and excessive stress due to their job, they may be eligible for paid Workers’ Compensation Stress Leave, however this is rarely awarded in Queensland. The employee can also seek coverage for medical expenses under this WorkCover stress leave.

Casual employees are entitled to and can apply for workers compensation with WorkCover Queensland if they are injured at work. WorkCover is compulsory in Queensland and every employer must hold a WorkCover Accident Insurance policy unless they are a registered self-insurer.

If an employer has neglected to pay for this insurance policy to cover their employees, a casual worker is still covered by WorkCover. This will not impact the support and entitlements the casual worker will receive.


What WorkCover Queensland benefits can I Receive as a Casual Worker?

Generally there are 2 avenues to compensation under WorkCover Queensland.

Statutory Benefits

If a casual worker is injured at work they are entitled to payment of weekly compensation benefits, medical and hospital expenses and rehabilitation. If a casual worker has been left with a permanent impairment as a result of their injury they may also be entitled to a lump sum payment of compensation.

Common Law Damages

If a casual worker is injured as a result of the fault of their employer then they will have an entitlement to common law damages. The amount of common law damages will usually greatly exceed the lump sum payment of compensation from WorkCover.


What to do if I am Injured at Work as a Casual

If you are a casual worker injured at work you should consult your doctor, report the injury to your employer, and lodge your claim with WorkCover. See a further break-down of these steps below.

See your doctor

You should obtain medical attention as soon as possible from your own doctor, not a doctor selected by your employer. Make sure you give a clear description to your doctor of your injury and how it happened.

Report the injury to your employer

The injury should be reported to your employer as soon as possible. Even if the injury is minor, it should still be reported, because it may get worse later on. The injury should be reported in writing and once again, you should make sure the injury and how it occurred are clearly described.

Lodge your claim with WorkCover

For information about the ways in which you can lodge your claim with WorkCover click here.

If you’re a casual employee injured at work and want some advice on where you stand then feel free to contact us. At GC Law we offer a free no obligation first appointment on 1300 302 318 or you can submit your enquiry online and our lawyers will be in touch.


Key Advice About WorkCover for Casual Employees

  • All casual workers injured at work are entitled to WorkCover in Queensland and any casual worker can apply for WorkCover
  • All casual workers injured at work are entitled to WorkCover in Queensland and any casual worker can apply for WorkCover
  • It is illegal to make a casual worker redundant as a result of a WorkCover injury claim
  • Casual employees are entitled to either statutory benefits or common law damages following a WorkCover injury claim.
  • To quickly calculate your WorkCover benefits as a casual, simply find the average hours worked each week. You will be entitled to a replacement income based on this average figure

This information should in no way be taken as legal advice and is designed as general information regarding casual worker’s injury compensation in Queensland. GC Law recommends that you speak to a lawyer regarding your situation.

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