Are workers covered by workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19?
Workers’ compensation arrangements differ across jurisdictions, however generally to be eligible for compensation a worker:
- would need to be covered by the scheme, either as an employee or a deemed worker,
- would need to have an injury, illness or disease of a kind covered by the scheme, that arose out of or in the course of their employment.
These eligibility factors continue to apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Compared to work-related injuries, it can be more difficult to prove that a disease was contracted in, or caused by, particular employment. In the case of a virus such as COVID-19, establishing the time and place of contraction may become increasingly hard.
Whilst the spread of COVID-19 is contained, it may be easier to establish whether contraction is work-related, for example, if in the course of their employment a worker travels to a high-risk area with a known viral outbreak or interacts with people who have contracted the virus. However, once the virus becomes more wide-spread in the local community, establishing the degree of contribution of a worker’s employment to their contraction of the virus will inevitably be more difficult.
Whether a claim for workers’ compensation for contracting the COVID-19 virus is accepted is a matter for the relevant workers’ compensation authority, applying their jurisdictions’ workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation authorities will consider each claim on its merits, with regard to the individual circumstances and evidence.
Steve Walker the principal of Walker Law Group Compensation Lawyers has extensive experience in Workers Compensation his view is that workers in essential services should all be covered without having to prove causation of where the virus was contracted.
Call Steve Walker today 1300 363 013 “No Cost Ever To You”