Worker with highest needs – when does the highest rate of weekly payments start?

Under Workers Compensation Legislation, if a worker is assessed at 31% Whole Person Impairment or greater they are considered a “worker with highest needs”. This classification provides them with an entitlement to receive weekly payments at the Pre Injury Average Weekly Earnings rate, in addition to any potential income they may be earning from employment, provided they still have some level of incapacity. Therefore a worker considered in this class, can potentially be receiving significantly more money per week post injury than what they were earning prior to the injury.

However, the question has been raised by the recent case of Meat Carter Pty Ltd v Melides [2020] NSWCA 307, when does the highest rate of weekly payments start.… Read More

Are you in Year 12 at Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla? Are you wanting to study Law next year at University? Great news – applications are now open for the Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary

Everingham Solomons are pleased to announce that once again a Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla Year 12 student wishing to undertake university study in Law will have a valuable opportunity to receive the benefits of our Law Bursary.

The Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary has long provided financial assistance for the successful applicant during their first year of university as well as an opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience in our offices periodically throughout the duration of their studies.

Everingham Solomons will also be making a cash donation to the school of the successful applicant to assist in maintaining the excellent educational standards that our region can offer.… Read More

Does every employee get 10 days personal leave a year? The High Court has decided…

On 13 August 2020 the High Court handed down their decision in the appeal of the Full Federal Court’s decision in the Mondelez case. The previous decision stated that based on the National Employment Standards all employees, regardless of whether they were part time or full time employees, were entitled to 10 days personal leave each year.

The High Court has now overturned the decision in the case Mondelez Australia Pty Ltd v AMWU & Ors [2020] HCA 29. The High Court established that the 10 days of personal leave referred to in the National Employment Standards, is to be known as 10 ‘notional days’ of leave.… Read More

A gap in weekly payments of workers compensation

In 2012 the NSW Government made significant changes to the workers compensation system. For injured workers who made workers compensation claims prior to 2012 their weekly payments ceased on 25 December 2017, if they had not been assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired. If injured workers later went on to be assessed at greater than 20% whole person impaired the workers compensation insurer was not reimbursing payments to the injured worker for the period they went without receiving weekly payments of compensation.
However, new case law decided on 17 June 2020 has now overturned any misconception that weekly payments were not payable for the period that the weekly payments stopped up until the assessment of greater than 20% whole person impairment.… Read More

New employee? New information and the latest law on personal/carer’s leave

As every new employee commences work their employer must provide them with certain documentation and the documentation from the Fair Work Commission has recently been updated. The Fair Work Commission publishes the Fair Work Information Statement, which is available online. This document must be provided to every new employee in Australia before they commence work or as soon as possible after they commence work.

For employees this document provides information about Australia’s employment laws and what governs them. It provides the minimum entitlements to workers known as the National Employment Standards or NES, and also lists the minimum wage for adult permanent and casual employees.… Read More

Coronavirus – can you claim Workers Compensation?

Coronavirus is the hot topic on everyone’s mind but what happens if you contract Coronavirus as a result of your employment, can you claim workers compensation?

For every Workers Compensation Claim there needs to be an injury and contracting Coronavirus would certainly qualify as an injury. Coronavirus as we have been made aware, currently requires at least a two week quarantine following the end of symptoms to prevent the spread of the virus. Therefore there is an incapacity to work not only while you are sick with the virus but also two weeks following the end of the symptoms.

Some people may simply choose to take personal leave and will have that amount of accrued leave available, while some employers may also pay to have the worker remain in quarantine to prevent other workers being infected.… Read More

The Timeliness Of Surgery

One of the disputes workers compensation clients will encounter with insurance companies is whether treatment is reasonably necessary following a workplace injury. The relevant section of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 NSW is section 60. If the dispute is before an Arbitrator in the Workers Compensation Commission they will need to consider the following before deciding on whether treatment is reasonably necessary or not, as noted in Rose v Health Commission (NSW) (1986) 2 NSWCCR 32:

a) The appropriateness of the particular treatment;
b) The availability of alternative treatment, and its potential effectiveness;
c) The cost of the treatment;
d) The actual or potential effectiveness of the treatment; and
e) The acceptance by medical experts of the treatment as being appropriate and likely to be effective.… Read More

Journey claims and Christmas parties

With the festive season in full swing and enthusiastic employees awaiting a party to unwind from their work responsibilities, employers should be aware that liability for workers compensation claims is still applicable. This is regardless of whether the annual Christmas party is held privately or publicly, at a location or premises different to their usual place of business.
In the case of Suzanne Elizabeth McCoy v State Super Financial Services Australia Limited [2018] NSWWCC 77 which was decided in 2018 the applicant worker was planning to attend her work Christmas party at a local hotel in the same town as her employment.… Read More

Are you in Year 12 at Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla? Are you wanting to study Law next year at University? Great news – the applications are now open for the Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary

Everingham Solomons are pleased to announce that once again a Tamworth, Quirindi, Gunnedah or Manilla Year 12 student wishing to undertake university study in Law will have a valuable opportunity to receive the benefits of our Law Bursary.

The Sir Adrian Solomons Memorial Law Bursary has long provided financial assistance for the successful applicant during their first year of university as well as an opportunity to gain valuable paid work experience in our offices periodically throughout the duration of their studies.

Everingham Solomons will also be making a cash donation to the school of the successful applicant to assist in maintaining the excellent educational standards that our region can offer.… Read More

Section 38A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 – a bonus for workers with Highest Needs

Under the NSW Workers Compensation system a worker is assessed, once they have reached maximum medical improvement, based on a percentage of whole person impairment. This percentage then equates to varying levels of compensation. If a worker is assessed at greater than 30% whole person impairment the worker is then considered a worker with Highest Needs.

Section 38A of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 then comes into play as it provides a special provision for workers with Highest Needs. Provided the worker has some level of incapacity, the worker has access to a minimum weekly payment of compensation. Under section 38A the amount is $788.32 indexed, and is currently $840 per week.… Read More