Does WorkCover pay overtime?

Does Workcover pay overtime

WorkCover will not pay you any overtime you’ve missed out on dollar for dollar. Instead, WorkCover will factor any overtime you earned in the 12 months (or shorter period) into your pre injury average weekly earnings calculation.

Overtime will be factored in for the first 52 weeks of weekly payments only.

Overtime calculation

When you lodge an initial WorkCover claim, you’ll be asked to specify your earnings information on the WorkCover claim form.

The relevant section of the form looks like this (below):

WorkCover claim form overtime section

You’ll see there’s a section for you to include your gross weekly earnings, hourly rate and hours worked.

You’ll see there’s also a section for you to list any overtime and shift allowances that you were earning.

The information that you list here, along with other pay material will be used to calculate your pre injury average weekly earnings.

The pay material usually will come from the employer, but you’re welcome to provide them with any pay material that you think might assist them to accurately calculate your pre injury average earnings.

The insurer will take an average of your earnings over the period of the 12 months you worked prior to suffering the injury.

If you were employed with this particular employer for less than 12 months prior to the injury, then the average will be taken over the period of time that you were employed with them (eg: 6 months).

Example:

Here’s a basic example to illustrate how overtime is factored in to your weekly payments.

Lets say that you were employed for 38 hours per week (regular hours), and your rate of pay was $25 per hour.

You would work 5 overtime hours per week, and you were paid at $50 per overtime hour.

Assuming that your earnings were consistent week to week, the calculations would look like this:

38 x $25 = $950 gross regular earnings per week.

5 x $50 = $250 gross overtime earnings per week.

$950 + $250 = $1200 gross per week.

Your weekly payments under WorkCover would therefore be:

95% = $1140 gross per week (for the first 13 weeks)

80% = $960 gross per week (thereafter to 130 weeks, and in some instances beyond the 130 weeks).

How long is overtime factored in for under WorkCover?

Any overtime that you earned during the relevant pre injury average weekly earnings calculation period will be factored into your weekly payments amount for the first 52 weeks of weekly payments only.

After 52 weeks, overtime will stop being factored in to your weekly payments calculation and as such many people will notice a drop in their weekly payments amount.

Example:

Continuing the example above:

38 x $25 = $950 gross regular earnings per week.

5 x $50 = $250 gross overtime earnings per week (no longer taken into account after 52 weeks)

$950 gross per week.

Your weekly payments under WorkCover would therefore be:

80% = $760 gross per week.

Weekly payments are capped

The current maximum amount that you can be paid by way of weekly payments is $2570.

So even if you were working full time hours but in addition to this working a huge amount of overtime, this is the maximum amount that you can be paid by way of weekly payments.

Note – that some people may be entitled to top up payments for a period of time, which is usually covered by an award or other instrument. This will usually assist in bringing a persons weekly payments up to their pre injury levels.

Issues with overtime calculation

If you think that the overtime component of your weekly payments has not been calculated properly, you can ask the insurer to perform an internal review. Alternatively, and in some cases in addition to, you can lodge a request for conciliation to initiate the conciliation process.

Most matters involving incorrect weekly payments calculation will resolve either by way of internal review and/or conciliation.

Common law and overtime

The payment of overtime is relevant in relation to a common law claim.

If you pursue a common law claim which has a loss of earnings component, then your earnings as a whole for a period will be considered – which will obviously include any overtime worked.

Your ‘before injury’ earnings will then be compared with your possible ‘after injury’ earnings when the parties determine the appropriate amount of compensation when it comes to economic loss.

Conclusion

Any overtime that was worked during the pre injury average weekly earnings calculation period (which in most cases will be the 12 month period before a person was injured) will be taken into account when determining the amount of weekly payments you are to be paid.

Overtime will be factored into you weekly payments calculation for the first 52 weeks you’re on WorkCover payments and there is no mechanism to continue to have it factored in to the calculations beyond the 52 week mark.

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.

Sidebar graphic of WorkCover benefits guide

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

Written by the Work Injury Site team