Making sure injured workers receive accurate weekly payments
If a worker sustained an injury on or after 26 October 2018, agents must include shift and overtime amounts in their pre-injury average weekly earnings calculation after 52 weeks.
Following amendments to the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the proclamation of the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 on 14 December 2018, if a worker sustained an injury on or after 26 October 2018, agents must include shift and overtime amounts in the calculation of their pre-injury average weekly earnings (PIAWE) after 52 weeks.
When a worker has a work-related injury, and they’re unable to perform their full pre-injury duties, they may be paid a percentage of their PIAWE for a set period.
The amount they receive is either based on their weekly earnings and non-monetary benefits before the injury—including any overtime and shift allowances—or a maximum weekly compensation amount.
Previously, there was a ‘step down’ after 52 weeks of benefits, where the PIAWE no longer accounts for any overtime or shift allowances.
In late 2018, the NSW Government amended the Workers Compensation legislation and removed the 52-week step down for shift and overtime earnings.
This means, if a worker sustained an injury:
- on or after 26 October 2018, shift and overtime amounts continue to be included in the calculation of PIAWE after 52 entitlement weeks
- before 26 October 2018, the agent must exclude shift and overtime amounts from the PIAWE calculation after 52 entitlement weeks. 1
These changes to the Workers Compensation legislation aim to support a simple and more efficient process to determining PIAWE for a range of working arrangements and ensure the calculation is easier to understand, fairer and reflective of an injured worker’s actual pre-injury earnings.
Insuring and caring for the people, businesses and assets that make NSW great
On Friday, 13 September 2019, the NSW Government announced the commencement of Schedule 3 to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018 and the making of the Workers Compensation Amendment (Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings) Regulation 2019 (PDF 0.1 MB)
These publications include additional changes to PIAWE that will take effect on Monday, 21 October 2019.
icare continues to play a key role in the implementation of changes to the Workers Compensation legislation within the schemes that it operates. We are working with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), the Workers Compensation Independent Review Office (WIRO), the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC), our agents (scheme agents, service providers, authorised providers and claims managers), employers and brokers to ensure all stakeholders meet their regulatory requirements, improve return to work outcomes, and provide a better experience for the people, businesses and communities of NSW.
Information and enquiries
For more information, please refer to the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2018.
If you have an enquiry or complaint, please contact your agent in the first instance or call icare on 13 99 22.
Workers with unresolved enquiries/complaints about their agent should contact WIRO on 13 94 76 or visit the WIRO website.
Workers with unresolved enquiries/complaints about their employer or provider should contact SIRA on 13 10 50 or visit the SIRA website.
Employers and others with unresolved enquiries/complaints should contact SIRA on 13 10 50 or visit the SIRA website.
1 Source: State Insurance Regulatory Authority
Note: PIAWE amendments do not apply to exempt categories of workers (i.e. police, firefighters and paramedics).