Based on what you've told us, it looks like you're covered by the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award [MA000089].
Under the Vehicle Award, employees are entitled to accident pay for up to 26 weeks.
Amount of accident pay
If an employee is on workers compensation, their employer has to pay them the difference between:
- the amount they get paid from workers compensation, and
- the amount they would have got if they were on sick leave (not including any over award payments).
For casual employees, this is calculated by averaging their hours over the 12 months before the day they started getting workers compensation payments. It includes their casual loading but doesn't include over award payments.
How and when accident pay applies
An employee is entitled accident pay if they're injured at work and begin receiving workers compensation payments. The accident pay starts from the time they start getting the workers compensation payments and can apply for up to 26 weeks. The 26 weeks starts from the first day they aren’t fit for work.
However, accident pay is not paid for the first 5 working days of the 26 weeks.
If an employee returns to work on less hours or modified duties, their accident pay is reduced by how much they get paid for that work.
Example: Return to work on modified duties/less hours
Joe worked 38 hours a week at $25 an hour, totalling $950 per week. Joe was injured at work and went on workers compensation, getting $500 a week in workers compensation payments and $450 in accident pay. After 8 weeks, Joe returns to work on modified duties that pay $20 for 20 hours a week, totalling $400. Joe’s accident pay is reduced by $400, meaning that Joe is now getting $50 accident pay per week.
Accident pay doesn't apply:
- for the first 3 weeks of employment
- for industrial diseases developed by gradual process
- for recurring, aggravated or accelerated injuries (unless the employee has been employed for at least 1 month).
An employer can’t terminate an employee because they're entitled to accident pay.
If an employee gets a lump sum instead of weekly payments from workers compensation, their employer doesn't have to pay accident pay.
In order to be entitled to accident pay, an employee has to follow any requirements about medical exams stated in the relevant workers compensation legislation.
If a medical exam shows that the employee is fit for work (including modified duties) and the employee refuses to do the work, the employer doesn't have to pay accident pay.
To find out more about who this award applies to, go to the Vehicle Award summary.
Source reference: Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 [MA000089] clause 22