Workers compensation and COVID-19

A person working during COVID-19.
  23 September 2020  NWMPHN   

COVID-19 contracted at work is covered by workers compensation.

As of 21 August 2020, 2563 health care workers in Victoria had tested positive to COVID-19. That represented around 14 per cent of the state’s 17,683 cases. Of these confirmed cases in health care workers, 68 were general practice staff including 38 GPs and 21 nurses. Many other people have contracted COVID-19 in their workplaces, such as the Cedar Meats outbreak in Brooklyn.

You may be entitled to workers compensation if you contract COVID-19 at work. However, compared to a work-related injury, it may be more difficult to establish a connection between a worker’s contraction of the COVID-19 virus and their employment.

In some industries (for example: health care), and in some circumstances (for example: in the course of their employment a worker travelled to a high-risk area) this connection may be easier to establish.

Tips for GPs when filling out forms for a worker’s compensation for a patient with COVID-19

To receive workers’ compensation, a claimant would need to establish that the virus was contracted in the course of employment, and that employment was the main contributing factor to the contracting of the virus.

  • To make a claim, workers need to provide details on the certificate about the exposure to the virus and the link to employment.
  • Exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 increases the likelihood of the claim being accepted; so, provide details if there has been exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace.

For more information:

  • ACTU fact sheet on Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  • Worksafe Victoria: Information for injured workers about your claim and coronavirus (COVID-19)