Workers' Compensation When Injured Abroad
In an increasingly global professional environment, working abroad is becoming more and more common. Many companies have a presence is multiple countries and most large businesses deal with international clients and partners.
When travelling abroad for work, whether to another state or another country, you can still be eligible for Australian workers’ compensation.
Like in all other WorkCover claims, the injury must be a ‘personal injury arising out of, or in the course of, employment’. As well as this, the employment must have been ‘a significant contributing factor to the injury’.
Luckily, in Queensland, the rules for working abroad are made explicit under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (Qld). If your main place of work is Queensland and you are required to travel overseas, you will still be covered by the Act.
Generally speaking, if your injury would have been compensated in Queensland, you will also be eligible while working overseas. So if you suffer from the same workplace injury in Brisbane and Boston, your chances of compensation will remain similar or the same.
If your principal place of employment is in another country or state and you are temporarily working in Queensland, compensation is not payable under the Act.
This might be an issue if you are employed in Queensland, but the company you work for has international branches and relocates you. Temporary overseas employment arrangements (shorter than six months) will generally not classify you as employed overseas, but longer assignments can.
You will also not be eligible for workers compensation if you travel overseas for work and injure yourself doing something outside of the requirements of your employment.
If you are participating in leisure or recreational activities and you sustain an injury, compensation will probably not be payable under the Act. This may change if the activity was initiated by your employer or it was within your duties as an employee. If you’re unsure about where you stand with your injury, always consult a lawyer.
Generally, it is best to clarify your eligibility with a lawyer. In some cases, especially when working ‘on the road’ or across many states, there may be some confusion over which state insurer to lodge a claim against.
For more information, get in contact with one of our personal injury law experts at [email protected] or via phone on (07) 3009 8444.