If you are receiving workers compensation and there has been a breakdown in your employer-employee relationship, it may be tempting to resign from your role.
Although you have the right to resign from your employment, it may affect your entitlements under WorkCover, especially for those receiving weekly payments.
It is imperative to seek legal advice before resigning from employment.
Is it possible to quit my job while on workers compensation?
In a nutshell, yes, however as mentioned above, resigning may affect your WorkCover entitlements, especially if you are receiving weekly payments.
Under the WorkCover Scheme, if a worker resigns for reasons “unrelated to the worker’s incapacity” then the worker’s weekly payments may be reduced or terminated. This is because, under workers compensation obligations, you must demonstrate you are ‘ready, willing and able’ to return to work duties.’ Starting a new role with a different employer may be seen as a breach of these duties.
Before handing in your resignation, you should consider;
- Whether your employer is hindering your rehabilitation efforts;
- Whether your employer and employee relationship is beyond repair;
- If your new role has a lower income than your current role, will you be able to claim the shortfall from the workers compensation insurer? The exception to this is if you start new employment as a result of subsequent injuries from the original injury.
All the above should be weighed up against the possibility of losing your weekly WorkCover payments. It is also imperative to seek legal advice before officially resigning.
It is important to note that resigning does not have any immediate impact upon your entitlement to medical and other workers compensation payments, or your entitlement to claim a lump sum.
What do I need to do if I want to resign while on workers compensation?
If you’ve made the decision to resign, you should give your employer the correct notice period. You can use your workers compensation period as the notice period.
Notice periods can differ depending on what award or agreement you are covered by, so it is important to confirm how much notice you are required to provide.
It is important to get the notice period right as you may cheat yourself of other entitlements, such as any annual leave that was accrued before workers compensation entitlements kicked in.
The time at which you decide to resign will also be a significant factor to consider before handing in your notice as WorkCover weekly payments are paid at a higher rate in the first 13 weeks.
We recommend you seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer before handing in your resignation.
While the WorkCover return to work program aims to support and keep injured workers in their current place of employment, sometimes an employee is ready to change jobs regardless.
There is no set guide as to how resigning from employment will affect an injured worker receiving workers compensation benefits. Each worker’s situation should be looked at on a case by case basis. This is why we recommend you seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (02) 9708 2222 or email [email protected].