Workplace Injury While Working From Home

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Flexible workplace arrangements with companies has seen a massive rise in employees working from their home. With faster internet speeds and increasing hot desk environments; it’s becoming more and more common for people to work from home. 

But, what happens if you’re working from home and you suffer an injury? Are you able to still claim compensation from your employer? It is a rising question from today’s Australian’s workforce. 

In working from home scenarios, determining whether an injury was as a result of the employee’s day- to-day home routine or as a result of them carrying out their work duties raises a number of questions from a workers’ compensation liability perspective and cover under a workers’ compensation policy cover. 

Entitlement to work from home

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, the right to request flexible working arrangements is an entitlement only for employees in certain circumstances, such as those who have the care of a child under school age, are a carer, are 55 years or older, provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who is in a family or domestic violence situation or are experiencing family or domestic violence themselves. It is not a legal entitlement extended to the broader workforce, however often provided as a perk or encouraged due to the current practices of hot desking in work places. There are many reasons why employees request temporary or permanent flexible work arrangements (ie. parents of young or school aged children or employees who live a few hours from a city-based office, wishing to work 1 day a week at home) and most employers will accommodate requests, dependent on job roles and evidencing a strong commitment to delivering whilst working from home. 

What happens if I’m injured working from home?

If you are working from home and you sustain an injury then the likelihood of the success of any workers’ compensation claim will depend on whether the injury was sustained during the course of you performing your duties at home or while performing any activity that is incidental to your employment. 

What am I covered for

All employees working from home, with their employer’s permission (whether explicit or implicit), will still be covered for workers compensation if they sustain any type of injury during the course of carrying out their work. However, it all depends on your individual circumstances and if your employment is a substantial contributing factor in causing the injury. The injury also needs to meet state-specific criteria.

If you need more information on your entitlements when working from home, get in touch with us today.