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Calculating normal weekly earnings

Your weekly compensation payments are based on the wages you received from your current employer in the 12 months before your injury.

If you started work with your employer recently, or don’t have 12 months’ employment history, we may simply base your earnings on what you've earned in the time you've been employed.

If this isn't possible, we can use another employee's earnings as a guide. This means someone who was employed by the same employer, under the same industrial instrument.

Your WorkCover insurance covers you if any of your workers experience a work-related injury or illness. If your worker needs to take time off, you'll have to pay an excess.

Your worker’s normal weekly earnings are one of the things we consider when determining your employer excess.

What’s included?

Wage payments are the regular amount you'd have received if you hadn't been injured at work. The amount may differ from your average weekly earnings. Wage payments can include:

  • salary or wages
  • regular overtime
  • higher duties
  • penalty rates
  • allowances (except those listed below).

Wage payments don't include:

  • allowances or expenses relating to travel, car, relocation, meal, education, living in the country or away from home, entertainment, clothing, tools and vehicles
  • superannuation
  • any lump-sum termination payments for superannuation, accrued holidays, long service leave or any other purpose
  • amounts paid to a worker as an employer excess.

Calculating wages

If you earned different amounts each week before your injury, we will calculate your normal weekly earnings from your employment using the pay information provided by your employer.

We’ll ask your employer to provide wages information, such as a payroll report or payslips. We’ll then use this information to work out your normal earnings, and how much to pay you in weekly compensation.

We need some information from you to work out weekly compensation payments for any workers who claim and may need time off work to recover.  When we receive a claim, we’ll ask you to use our secure online services to send us:

  • An itemised payroll report for 12 months before the date of injury. The report must show each payment including wages, penalties and allowances for each pay period, OR
  • Payslips for 12 months before the date of injury (or from the date they started, if less than 12 months).

Providing wage information is all you need to do – we’ll look after the calculation for you, using the payroll or payslip information you provide.

We’ll then confirm the payment amounts to you and your worker.

If you’re concerned with a calculation, please contact us so we can step you through the workings.  If we're unable to resolve your concerns, we can provide a written explanation and you can seek a review of the decision with the Workers' Compensation Regulator.