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Learn from the Lawman

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Stuart Barnett is our mining industry’s leading personal injury lawyer. This month he has some important advice about you right to access your sick leave whilst waiting for a compensation claim to be determined following an injury the Coal Mines.

In some instances following a work place injury, there is a delay in the Workers Compensation Insurer accepting the claim or indeed the claim may be declined. In those circumstances the injured worker may not have any source of income on the period.

It is permissible, subject to satisfying the employers sick leave policy to avail yourself of sick leave whilst waiting for the claim to be determined. 

In due course the Workers Compensation Insurer may accept liability, or the Court may order the payment of Workers Compensation for the period. If either of those events occur and if the injured worker is still in the employ of the employer where the injury occurred, then the money paid to the injured worker as sick leave is deemed to be paid as workers compensation.

From a practical point of view the Insurer would then pay to the employer the compensation agreed or awarded for the period. The employer would then re-credit the sick leave to the injured workers sick leave ledger. The end result being that the injured workers sick leave entitlements are restored and are available in the future should the worker become ill in non-compensable circumstances.

Sometimes ether because the injured worker is no longer employed by the same employer where they were injured or because the case settled by way of a compromise or lump sum re-crediting of sick leave is not possible and the entitlement for the period taken a sick leave is taken up in the settlement agreement.  

This is general advice and because your individual circumstances will vary I recommend seeking out specific advice for your needs.

Stuart Barnett

Slater & Gordon Lawyers

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