Sick leave or WorkCover – what should I take?

sick leave or workcover

If you suffer a work related injury, you may consider using your sick leave instead of lodging a WorkCover claim if you need time off work. For example, you may wish to do so if you have a significant amount of sick leave saved up that you want to use. Of if you are sure that you might only need a very short period of time off work.

However, if you’re not sure how long you may actually need off work, or if you’re going to need an extended period of time off work, usually accessing WorkCover payments will be a better option.

This article will explore the issue further.

If you are deciding whether to use sick leave or WorkCover, (and do not have a WorkCover claim)

You may consider using sick leave if:

  • Your injury or illness is not related to work
  • You have lots of sick leave saved up
  • You don’t want to go through the WorkCover process of lodging a claim
  • You have a minor injury that you are confident is not likely to persist and you’re confident you won’t need much time off work
  • You don’t wish to obtain payment for medical expenses
  • You don’t wish to obtain lump sum compensation
  • You wish to see how your injury progresses before deciding whether to lodge a WorkCover claim

You may consider using WorkCover if:
  • Your injury or illness is related to work
  • You’re not sure how long your injury is likely to persist or how long you might need off work
  • You’re confident you’re going to need an extended period of time off work
  • You don’t have any sick leave saved up (or very little)
  • You wish to (or may at some point) obtain payment for medical expenses
  • You wish to (or may at some point) pursue lump sum compensation
  • Your ability to work may be permanently impacted by your injury.

If you have a WorkCover claim and are deciding whether to use sick leave or WorkCover payments:

If you already have a WorkCover claim lodged and you require some time off work, then in most cases it makes sense to access your WorkCover weekly payments entitlement.

The way, you’ll be able to keep your sick leave saved up, and to use when you need to take time off work that do not relate to your work related injury or illness.

Conclusion

There are a few instances where you might consider using your sick leave instead of WorkCover. For example, if you’re confident you will only need a short period of time off work, if you wish to see how your injury progresses before deciding whether to lodge a WorkCover claim, or if you don’t wish to access any other WorkCover entitlements (eg: payment of medical expenses or lump sum compensation).

However, if you’re to sure how long your injury is likely to persist for, how long you might need off work, or if you’re confident that your ability to work is going to be impacted for a lengthy period of time, a WorkCover claim might be your best option.

Please keep in mind that the information contained on this page should not be considered legal advice and no content on this site should replace the need to obtain advice tailored to the specific facts of your case. The facts of a case can significantly alter the advice that can provided. This site only provides general advice. Read more here.

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To contact Michael or Peter call 1800 746 442 or email [email protected]

Written by the Work Injury Site team

Written by the Work Injury team
Written by the Work Injury team

We’re experts in the law relating to work injuries, and enjoy writing helpful articles just like this one.