Ending employment during workers compensation

Different rules can apply to resignation, dismissal and redundancy when an employee is on workers compensation.

Resigning from a job while on workers compensation

An employee can resign from their job while they're on workers compensation. They:

  • have to give the correct notice period to their employer
  • can use their workers compensation period as the notice period.

Notice periods can be different in each award and registered agreement. Check the Resignation and notice page for more information about notice periods under awards.

Dismissed by an employer while on workers compensation

Under the National Employment Standards, if an employer dismisses an employee while they’re away from work on workers’ compensation, they need to give the employee written notice.

Employers can choose to:

  • give the employee their minimum notice period which can run at the same time as their absence on workers’ compensation
  • pay out the notice (also known as a payment in lieu of notice), or
  • give a combination of the two.

Employees who are covered by an award, enterprise agreement, other registered agreement or employment contract should check if they have different notice of termination entitlements for when they are away from work on workers’ compensation as they may be entitled to payment in lieu of notice.

More information:

Use Find my award to find out which award applies. To find an enterprise agreement, visit the Fair Work Commission’s website external-icon.png.


There may be protections in workers compensation legislation that prevent employees from being dismissed while on workers’ compensation. Contact the workers compensation regulator in your state or territory for more information.

Redundancy while on workers compensation

If an employee's job is made redundant while on workers compensation, an employer needs to comply with the rules for providing notice when dismissing an employee, as outlined above. The employer also has to pay out any entitlements, including redundancy pay if it applies.  

Check the Redundancy pay and entitlements page for more information about redundancy pay.

All awards and registered agreements have a consultation process for when there are major changes to the workplace, such as redundancies.

Employers have to talk to an employee on workers compensation if they decide to make a significant change in the workplace that will affect the employee's job. This has to occur as the decision is made, not when the employee comes back to work from workers compensation.

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Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

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