Using sick leave while on workers compensation

Workers compensation and taking sick leave

What’s the difference between sick leave and WorkCover payments?

WorkCover is a type of insurance that covers injured workers.

If injured workers need to take time off work due to an injury or illness, then generally speaking they are entitled to the payment of weekly payments.

If you need time off work due to your illness or injury that you have an accepted WorkCover claim for, then you should use your WorkCover entitlement to weekly payments where possible.

Sick leave on the other hand is something that you should keep up your sleeve when you need to take time off work for illness or injury reasons that are not related to your work cover injury.

So, when should you use sick leave while on WorkCover?

If you have an accepted WorkCover claim, and you have an entitlement to weekly payments, then generally speaking you should only take sick leave (rather than WorkCover weekly payments) when you need time off for an injury/illness/condition that is not related to your work related injury/illness/condition.

Do you use your sick leave when on WorkCover?

No, when you take time off when you have an accepted WorkCover claim and that time off is connected to your work related illness or injury, that will (or should be) be paid as WorkCover weekly payments.

If you are getting weekly payments from the WorkCover insurer, you are not using your sick leave.

Your sick leave will remain untouched and unaffected by your WorkCover claim.

Will sick leave accrue while I’m on WorkCover?

No, sick leave will not accrue while you’re on WorkCover in Victoria in most instances.

However, in some instances an employment contract or other instrument may result in sick leave accruing.

Can I use sick leave before my WorkCover claim has been accepted?

Yes, if you lodge a WorkCover claim, there will be a period of about a month where your claim will be determined by the WorkCover Insurer.

If you need time off from work during this period, whether it be not working at all or just some time off here in there, you are able to take any sick leave that you have saved up so you can have an income.

Once your WorkCover claim has been accepted, any leave that you’ve taken can be reiumbursed.

Can I take sick leave while on WorkCover?

If you wish to take both sick leave and obtain WorkCover weekly payments at the same time, then this is not permitted in Victoria.

You can of course take sick leave while you have a WorkCover claim on foot, provided you are not obtaining weekly payments at the same time.

However, as mentioned above, you should avoid using your sick leave wherever possible, when the reason for using the sick leave relates to time off work due to your work related illness or injury.

How much sick leave do I get per year while on WorkCover?

Under the National Employment Standards, full time employees are entitled to 10 days of sick leave per year, at a minimum.

Part time employees are entitled to the same, but on a pro rata basis.

Casual employees don’t accrue sick leave – whether on WorkCover or not.

Sick leave accrues from an employees first day of work, and accumulates based on time worked or WorkCover leave taken.

If an employee is covered by an award, or employment contract or an enterprise agreement, the sick leave entitlement might be more.




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.

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

Written by the Work Injury Site team