Pre-accident Weekly Earnings (for accidents on or before 31 December 2004)

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This policy should be read in conjunction with the Loss of Earnings Benefits policy.

The TAC will assess LOE benefits by calculating the client's 'pre-accident weekly earnings', using the client's ordinary time rate of pay, for the normal number of hours worked weekly by the client.

Definitions

'Pre-accident weekly earnings' in relation to an earner (other than a self employed person) who is injured as a result of a transport accident, means the average weekly earnings (AWE) a client received from the same employer, for a period of 12 months or less, prior to the transport accident.

In general, the TAC will calculate this pre-accident weekly earnings figure using the pre accident earnings of the client over a minimum of six weeks prior to the transport accident.

If the client provides weekly earnings details for more than six weeks or less than six weeks, then the average weekly earnings over all the weeks will be used to determine the amount of the pre-accident weekly earnings.

To determine a pre-accident earnings figure, the TAC will base its calculation on information provided by the client on:

  • the Claim for Compensation form
  • group certificates, tax returns and/or contracts of employment or agreement
  • payslips.

How are pre-accident weekly earnings assessed where an alteration occurs in the normal number of hours worked or the work performed?

The TAC will disregard any previous earnings if a client voluntarily makes a permanent alteration:

  • to the normal number of hours worked or
  • to the nature of the work

that results in a change in the client's average weekly earnings. For example, where a person changes from permanent part time to full time work, only the earnings during the period of full time work are taken into account.

How are pre accident weekly earnings assessed for client's who have more than one employer?

The TAC will apply the following guidelines where a client had more than one employer at the time of the transport accident:

  • full time and casual/part time job - the average weekly earnings (AWE) will be calculated using the client's full time job only
  • two part time jobs - the AWE will be determined by adding the ordinary time rate of pay and dividing this by the average hourly rate for all jobs. This figure is then multiplied by the average weekly hours worked in all jobs which cannot exceed 35 hours
  • two full time jobs - the AWE will be calculated using the higher paying job only.

How will the TAC assess a client's pre-accident weekly earnings where he/she had entered into an employment arrangement prior to the transport accident?

Where this occurs, the TAC will calculate the client's average weekly earnings based on the weekly earnings that the client could reasonably have been expected to earn, but for the injury, in employment under that arrangement at the clients ordinary rate of pay. All previous earnings will be disregarded.

This provision only applies where entering the employment arrangement is the only basis on which the client is an earner.

How are pre accident weekly earnings assessed for clients who are either under the age of 21, apprentices or employed under a contract of service?

If at the time of the accident a client is an earner and is either:

  • under the age of 21 or
  • an apprentice or
  • employed under a contract of service and is required to undergo training , instruction or an examination in order to qualify for the occupation,

and the client would have been entitled, had the accident not occurred, to increases in earnings at subsequent stages or ages, the TAC will re-calculate the client's pre-accident weekly earnings to take into account the increased earnings, at the time of the subsequent stage or when the client attains the particular age.

Does the TAC include overtime and other allowances when assessing a client's pre-accident weekly earnings?

The TAC will include any regular overtime, calculated at the overtime rate, where it was worked:

  • in accordance with a regular and established pattern, and
  • that pattern was substantially uniform in the number of hours of overtime worked, and
  • the client would have continued to work overtime or shift work in that pattern if not for the transport accident injuries.

The TAC will include the average of all non expendable allowances (ie. allowances that cannot be written off for tax purposes), that are paid on a regular basis. These include:

  • shift/crib
  • on call
  • danger money
  • nausea.