On 13 September 2019, the government finally announced that Schedule 3 to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 is to commence on 21 October 2019.
The Amendments simplify the manner in which an injured worker's weekly payments of compensation are to be calculated.
For injuries suffered on or after 21 October 2019, an injured worker's entitlement to weekly payments of compensation will be calculated on the basis of average weekly earnings for the 52 weeks prior to injury.
Further, the changes enable incentive-based payments, piece rates and commissions to be taken into account for the purposes of calculating an injured worker's entitlement to weekly payments of compensation. This could have significant benefits for those working in industries such as meat processing, sales and other industries where workers are paid on the basis of production or amount of sales.
Such incentive based payments, piece rates and commissions were not previously included in weekly payments for those workers injured prior to 21 October 2019. This resulted in significantly less weekly payments than many other workers. These changes will ensure that weekly payments reflect the actual earnings of those employees who receive incentive based payments, piece rates or commission as part of their employment.
The exclusion of incentive based payments, piece rates and commissions also led to complexity in determining an injured worker's entitlement to weekly payments of compensation.
It is hoped that these changes will lead to less disputes in relation to the calculation of an injured worker's entitlement to weekly payments of compensation.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.