Employer inefficiency leads to WorkCover underpayment
Members on WorkCover should be vigilant in checking they are receiving the correct amount of workers' compensation after a recent case of underpayment in our sector.
In this case, a member sought advice from our union relating to their workers' compensation payments.
The member had been injured at work and had an approved WorkCover claim but believed that the amount being paid was incorrect.
As a result of an investigation by our Industrial Services team it was discovered that our member was in fact receiving an incorrect rate of pay for workers' compensation.
In this case the member was receiving the amount the employer paid their employees prior to a negotiated agreement in which the rate of pay was increased.
WorkCover was not informed of the change due to an administrative lag with the employer.
In addition, payments were also delayed by several weeks because timesheets were not filled out by the employer and sent to WorkCover in a timely manner
However, due to the nature of the profession, and the fact that most teachers are salaried employees, teachers rarely fill in timesheets for their time spent at work.
Therefore an artificial process of filling in timesheets occurs where this documentation is prepared and sent by the employer to WorkCover.
In this instance there were administrative delays both in notifying WorkCover of increases to an employee’s rate of pay under the enterprise agreement, as well in providing the necessary paperwork to ensure the prompt processing of workers' compensation payments.
This ultimately led to our member being unfairly underpaid.
Employees should not be burdened by underpayments that are the result of administrative delays and inefficiency on the employer’s part; rather they should be focussing on their wellbeing and recovery.
Ultimately, investigations and advocacy on behalf of member by our Industrial Services team caused WorkCover to correct the rate and compensate our member directly.
Employers must immediately inform WorkCover whenever there is a change of rate of pay to their employees.
Members who believe they are being paid incorrectly by their employer or by WorkCover directly should contact our Industrial Services team on FREECALL 1800 177 937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and assistance.