This is a question that we are asked regularly and for good reason.
The short answer is yes but there are some conditions.
If you have suffered a work-related injury and you have been unable to work for 12 months due to your work-related injury and you are medically unfit to return to work for your employer, your employer can then terminate your employment.
For the first 12 months of your WorkCover claim but only if you are medically unfit for work for the first 12 months, your employer cannot lawfully terminate your employment.
If you decide to resign from your employment on medical grounds within the first 12 months after your injury, it is only wise to do so with the support of your treating doctor or doctors. If you do resign on medical grounds and within the first 12 months of your injury, there is no reason why you cannot continue to receive assistance from WorkCover Queensland including funding for your replacement wages at either 85% or 75% of your normal weekly earnings and funding for your medical, rehabilitation, travel and pharmaceutical needs.
It would be unwise to resign from your employment due to your work-related injury without giving yourself a good opportunity to recover, heal and fully explore all rehab options to try to return to work. Resigning from your employment without good reason or sufficient reason can also cause problems with the management of your WorkCover claim as the claims manager from WorkCover might then see some justification to cease your weekly benefits if you have resigned from your employment without good or sufficient justification or reason.
Part of WorkCover Queensland’s charter or purpose is to try to get injured workers back to work and back to their old job as quickly as possible. This drives much of what takes place when injured workers are dealing with WorkCover claims managers. It is important for injured workers to receive all of the assistance they require to help them to return to their existing role if this is possible. If this is not possible then retraining options needs to be considered if the injured worker retains some residual earning capacity.
If an injured worker has been terminated by their employer while they are still on WorkCover but after the first 12 months, it is highly likely that WorkCover will organize some host employment, however, the injured worker will continue to receive weekly benefits at the rate of 75% of their normal weekly earnings.
If the injured worker continues to be unable to work up to the 2 year mark after sustaining their work-related injury and if their work-related injury results in an impairment of whole person of at least 15% then the weekly benefits will continue to be paid at 75% of normal weekly earnings. If the impairment is under 15% then the weekly benefits will drop down to the Centrelink pension rate.
This blog was written by Greg Black, Director
Phone: (07) 3278 0099 or Toll Free 1800 316 716