Do you accrue annual leave on WorkCover in Victoria?
Yes. If you have an accepted WorkCover claim in Victoria and you remain employed and on weekly payments, you should continue to accrue annual leave entitlements as if you were working normally.
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How does annual leave work while I’m on WorkCover?
Annual leave allows you as an employee to be paid when you’re off work.
All employees are entitled to accrue annual leave, apart from casual employees.
You’re entitled to the same amount of annual leave that you would accrue if you were working normally.
That is, if you’re either full time or part time, you should receive four weeks of annual leave which is based on your ordinary hours worked.
If you’re a part time employee, annual leave will accrue on a pro rata basis.
Certain employers will offer more than four weeks, but four weeks annual leave per year is the minimum.
In certain circumstances you can be entitled to an extra week on top, if you regularly work shifts on public holidays or Sundays, or you work for a business that operates twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
Annual leave is generally paid at the same rate as your normal ordinary hours. However, it can also be paid with an annual leave loading on top.
This is usually at 17.5%, and is designed to compensate you for expenses during annual leave.
Annual leave begins accruing from the very first day of employment.
If you are on a probationary period at the commencement of your employment, this does not matter.
Annual leave will continue regardless.
Being on WorkCover should not interrupt the accrual of your annual leave in any way.
How much notice do I need to give before I take annual leave when I’m on WorkCover?
There is no specific rule in relation to this, but an employer can set out its own policies regarding taking and granting annual leave.
If you were taking annual leave related to your injury or condition that you have an excepted WorkCover claim for, then should potentially reconsider doing so.
If for example you need medical treatment such as surgery, then you should be claiming weekly payments of compensation from the WorkCover insurer and keeping your annual leave entitlements there in case you need them for something else that is not related to your work related injury.
In order to obtain weekly payments from the WorkCover insurer, ensure you have a valid certificate of capacity and provide this to your employer.
Can I cash out my annual leave?
You’re only able to cash out your annual leave when an award or a registered agreement permits this. If an award or registered agreement does not cover this in relation to your employment, then you can still come to an agreement with your employer.
You should have at least four weeks of annual leave accrued before you can cash out your annual leave.
What should I do if I’m not getting paid annual leave while on WorkCover?
You should speak to your employer as the first port of call. The chances are that there is an oversight and this is all you need to do to get the ball rolling with your annual leave.
Keep in mind that you are entitled be back paid any annual leave that is owing to you.
If your employer disputes that you are entitled to annual leave while on WorkCover, then you can contact the WorkCover insurance company and raise the issue with them and they can speak to your employer on your behalf.
You can also contact your lawyer and ask them to deal with the matter, if you have one.
The final thing you can do, which is really only a last resort option, is to get in contact with the Fair Work Commission.
You are entitled to accrue annual leave while you’re on WorkCover in Victoria. This is provided that your employment classification allows for this (ie: you’re not a casual worker).