Does WorkCover come out of sick leave?
No, If you receive any payments under a WorkCover claim in Victoria, these do not come out of your sick leave.
WorkCover is completely separate from your accrued sick leave entitlements as a part time or full time employee.
This is also the case in relation to all employment entitlements: including annual leave and long service leave, and any other entitlements you may have.
It doesn’t matter what entitlement you are being paid under WorkCover either.
Whether that be: the payment of medical expenses, weekly payments, an impairment lump sum or a common law damages claim.
What’s the reason for this?
Well, WorkCover and sick leave are separate entitlements.
If WorkCover was paid out of sick leave, then the employer is in one way having to double pay.
The employer has to on the one hand provide the sick leave entitlement to employees.
And on the other hand, they have to pay for WorkCover insurance to cover their employees in the event of injury.
If WorkCover was taken out of sick leave, it would in our opinion be harsh on the employer because they have paid for this insurance.
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Accrual of sick leave while on WorkCover payments
If you are in receipt of weekly payments from WorkCover, whether that is because you can only work on a partial, restricted basis or can’t work at all, then you should be aware that your sick leave entitlement will not accrue.
However, your sick leave entitlement does not stop accruing just because you have a WorkCover claim on foot if you are still at work.
It will continue to accrue based on the hours worked.
This is not the case for annual leave however, which continues to accrue while you are on WorkCover and receiving weekly payments from the insurer, in addition to accruing when you work.
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If you’re not sure whether your employment entitlements are being correctly calculated while on WorkCover, you should obtain some advice.
Using sick leave in the claim determination period
Once you lodge a WorkCover claim there is a determination period where the WorkCover insurer will need to make a decision as to whether to accept or reject your WorkCover claim.
During this period if you need time off work because of the injury, you may want to take sick leave (or potentially annual leave).
If your WorkCover claim gets accepted, then you will likely be able to have any sick leave that you used during the determination period recredited to you.
No WorkCover entitlements are paid out of your accrued sick leave. If you are told that this is how things work, then you should consider getting advice.