Injured working from home? Understand your employee rights
Almost all employers have strict processes and regulations in place when it comes to workplace injuries, but what happens if you are injured while working from home?
This question has become all the more pressing since COVID-19 shut down offices worldwide and forced countless employees to work from home offices and dining room tables. It might not be a conventional workplace, but the risk of injury is still present.
Here’s what you need to know about your rights as an employee working from home.
Can you make a workers’ compensation claim when working from home?
You are eligible for workers’ compensation for any injury that is sustained during or due to your employment, including those that take place in your home. This is covered through the WorkCover insurance scheme.
To be eligible, the injury must occur:
- While carrying out duties that are relevant to your job
- During working hours (including break times)
- While working at home with the explicit or implicit permission of your employer. If you are supposed to be working at another location, you may not be covered for injuries sustained at home.
Health and safety obligations for employers of remote workers
Regardless of where you work, employers have an obligation to ensure your safety and to compensate you for injuries sustained while doing your job. This extends to work done at home too.
As part of this duty of care, employers should:
- Ensure employees’ home workspaces meet safety standards
- Provide instructions on how to work safely at home
- Instruct employees on how/when to report health and safety issues.
Health and safety obligations for employees working from home
Employees themselves also share the responsibility for a safe home working environment. Keep your workspace tidy and closed off from other people to avoid unnecessary hazards, and exercise the same caution you would in an out-of-home workplace.
If you are concerned about the safety of your home working environment, you can also ask your employer to conduct a risk assessment and advise you of changes that should be made.
What happens if I am injured during a break?
You are still covered for accidents that take place while on a break. Where possible, employers should stipulate break length times and frequency so there is transparency around what is covered as part of the working day.
Does workers’ compensation cover freelancers and contractors working from home?
Freelancers and independent contractors generally do not fall under an employer’s insurance. If you work from home independently, you will need to take out an insurance policy of your own for protection against workplace injuries.
Make a workers compensation claim today
LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they are entitled to with workers’ compensation claims. We are so sure of our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy. Call 1800 455 725 to arrange a consultation.