WorkSafe to review young worker payments

WorkSafe is reviewing weekly compensation payments relating to injured young workers and apprentices to ensure incremental increases have been correctly applied.
News article published

Friday 11 Sep 2020

Industries and topics
  • Claims
  • Young workers

A routine audit in late 2019 found an error in calculating increment dates had resulted in some incorrect payments being made. Investigations into this issue have since taken place and relevant claims from the last 12 months have been reviewed.

The majority of the potentially impacted payments were made to employers, who are generally responsible for paying their injured workers, and then reimbursed by WorkSafe.

The exact number of impacted claims will not be known until each case has been assessed but WorkSafe is reviewing all 20,000 eligible young worker claims dating back to the scheme's launch on 1 September 1985.

Assessments are expected to be completed by the end of the 2020-21 financial year.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Colin Radford said changes were made as soon as the issue was identified to prevent it from occurring again.

"Young workers are among our most vulnerable and when they are injured at work, it is imperative that they and their employers receive the payments to which they are entitled," Mr Radford said.

"We are committed to reviewing each case and these checks will allow WorkSafe to correct any errors that are found."

"We will rectify instances where employers or workers received less compensation than they should have."

Annual incremental increases to WorkCover compensation payments are generally applied on the anniversary of a recipient's injury.

The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act requires that increases to payments occur either on a worker's birthday or on the employment stage date in their contract, industry award or enterprise agreement for workers under the age of 21, apprentices and trainees.

Mr Radford said recent claims were easily identifiable and had been rectified, but WorkSafe was urging employers or young workers who think this issue may apply to them to contact their Agent or email [email protected]

Where this is not possible, they should contact the WorkSafe Advisory service on 1800 136 089.