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.
Casual employees can apply for workers compensation with WorkCover Queensland if they are injured at work. Generally there are 2 avenues to compensation.
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.
If you are a casual worker injured at work, then here’s what you should do.
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 for a free no obligation first appointment on 1300 302 318 or submit your enquiry online.