Workers Comp: Why firefighters have more to lose than most

June 7, 2012

Many members are not aware that, unlike other workers, firefighters have the benefit of workers comp top-up. This means that while everyone else who is off injured drops down after 26 weeks to only $432.50 workers comp per week, firefighters remain on full pay until we return to work.

What if O’Farrell’s attack on workers comp extends to cutting our workers comp top-up?

To give you an idea of what’s at risk, this shows the benefit of workers comp top-up for a Senior Firefighter who is forced off work for 40 weeks (10 months).

Weekly compensation payments with workers comp top-up

 $1,398.22 x 40 weeks = $55,928 (ie, no loss of income).

         Weekly compensation payments without workers comp top-up

$1,398.22 x 26 weeks = $36,353

 $432.50 x 14 weeks = $6,055

Total = $42,408

The firefighter without workers comp top-up is $13,520 worse off!


And this is only the effect of workers comp top up. If the O’Farrell Government carries through on its threat to cut out full pay after only 13 weeks then the difference blows out to $26,074 worse off.

O’Farrell is also threatening to cut your current cover for travel to and from work, so if you’re laid up in hospital for 40 weeks after a cycling accident or MVA then forget about workers comp – you’ll be the full $55,928 worse off.

And this is only the impact of O’Farrell’s workers comp changes on wages. The Liberals have more horrors in store, like caps on medical expenses and the automatic exclusion of strokes and heart attacks.

This is serious. All members who are able to do so are urged to come to next Wednesday’s SGM and the rallies which follow.

Darin Sullivan
Acting State Secretary



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