If you are injured on your way to or from work – whether you’re walking, cycling or driving – you may wonder if you can claim workers compensation. As Richard Faulks explains, the answer to this question is: ‘Yes and No’!
Private sector employees
If you’re employed in a private capacity and the workers compensation entitlements are covered by the ACT law (Workers Compensation Act 1951), travelling to and from work is considered to be part of the employment.
Section 36 of that law provides that a personal injury received on an employment-related journey is, for this Act, an injury arising out of or in the course of the worker’s employment. That section goes on to indicate that a journey between a worker’s home and workplace is also considered to be an employment-related journey.
It’s worth noting that the law also goes on to provide that the employment-related journey is taken to end at the boundary of the premises where the home is located. This would, therefore, exclude injuries that occur in the home, such as walking out of the home to the driveway.
If you’re employed in a government capacity, or by a corporate body that has a licence from the Commonwealth government that enables them to be covered by the Commonwealth compensation law (Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988), you don’t enjoy the same entitlements.
Prior to 13 April 2007, such journeys were also considered to be related to employment and therefore compensable. Since that date, however, the Act has provided that such journeys are no longer considered to be part of employment and not covered by compensation.
A worker who is covered for an injury during such a journey would normally be entitled to receive payment for any reasonable treatment associated with the injury and, in some circumstances, would be covered for any time off work as a result of injuries sustained.
Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance
For those workers who are not covered by workers compensation for such journeys, they may be entitled to compensation under the CTP scheme if the injury was sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident. However, recent changes to the ACT CTP scheme, which are due to commence early next year, will restrict some rights to compensation, but those changes will not be retrospective.
How can we help?
If you are injured on the way to or from work, or during any work-related activity, our Personal Injury team can advise you on any compensation for which you may be eligible. You can contact us on 02 6285 8000 or by email.