Workers compensation leave entitlements

A recent decision of the Full Federal Court in Anglican Care v NSW Midwives Association (2015) determined that the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) does not prevent an injured employee in New South Wales from accruing annual leave entitlements whilst on workers compensation. This decision was contrary to the previously widely accepted position in New South Wales that, under the Fair Work Act, employees do not accrue annual leave entitlements while on workers compensation.

As in New South Wales, Tasmania’s compensation law does not prevent the accrual of such leave. Following the decision in Anglican Care, Tasmanian workers whose industrial relations are governed by the Fair Work Act are entitled to accrue various leave entitlements whilst in receipt of weekly payments under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

In the case of workers not governed by the Fair Work Act, the relevant enactments and awards allow for the accrual of leave during any medically approved absence from the workplace. An absence from the workplace during a compensation period meets this requirement.