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Your options if injured travelling to, from or for work

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Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

On some occasions, an employee may suffer a work-related injury that occurred outside the main work site such as at a work function or on the way to meet a client.

In these circumstances, we often get asked, “am I covered by WorkCover if injured travelling to and from work?”.

Often referred to as a “journey claim”, there are limited jurisdictions that may cover these situations. This means whether your employer’s WorkCover insurance policy covers you on the way to and from work differs depending on what state you are in – because what constitutes a work journey is relatively broad and requires assessment of each circumstance.

Generally speaking, for Victorian claims, the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) governs journey claims.

Contrary to journey claims in Queensland, in Victoria employers are generally not liable for injuries sustained travelling to and from work. However, you may lodge a journey claim if you are travelling for the purposes of your employment.

The question then becomes, “what happens if I am injured travelling to and from work?” – In Victoria, you may have entitlements under the Transport Accident Commission scheme (a TAC claim) which is governed by the Transport Accident Act (1986) (Vic).

What is considered a “work journey” for WorkCover purposes in Victoria?

In Victoria, a journey claim generally covers the following:

  • Travel during authorized recess breaks;
  • Travel between workplaces or any other place required to attend for the purposes of your employment;
  • Travel to follow employer’s direction to pick up delivery items or mail on the way to work;
  • Travel to meet a client; or
  • Travel for work-related purposes such as training conferences, delivering goods or services as well as attending worksites.

If you have sustained an injury in the course of a work journey, you may claim statutory entitlements under the Worker’s Compensation Scheme.

Statutory entitlements do not consider who was negligent at the time of the accident. Therefore, if you were or were not at fault, under the Worker’s Compensation Scheme, your entitlements include medical treatment and loss of wages by way of weekly payments.

To apply for a Worker’s Compensation Claim, you must establish that you were travelling within the scope or for the purposes of your employment duties such as picking up mail or to meet a client.

What is considered a “journey transport accident”?

In Victoria, a journey transport accident generally covers the following:

  • Between home and work;
  • Between different employers; or
  • Between home/work and a trade school or other place of training that his/her employer expects him/her to attend.

If you have sustained an injury in the course of a journey transport accident, you may apply for compensation under the TAC scheme. Luckily, in Victoria, it does not matter who is at fault, if you are injured, you may lodge a claim with the TAC.

Read more frequently asked questions about TAC claims.

Read more relevant TAC blogs below: 

Claiming transport accident benefits if you’re at-fault 

New Driver Distraction Road Rules introduced in Victoria 2023

The role of speed on car crashes and injuries