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Injured working abroad? What you need to know about overseas workers compensation

Many Australians find themselves having to pack their passport as they head off for a day’s (or week’s) hard work. Travelling overseas to attend meetings, oversee projects or gain knowledge can be a common part of work life for some employees. Being out from behind your usual desk and taking part in duties in a distant country may bring some new risks.

What happens if you're injured while working overseas?

You will probably already know that if you’re working in Australia and you sustain an injury as part of your employment or during your journey to and from work, you’re eligible for workers compensation. What happens though if you’re working in another country? Can you claim workers compensation overseas?

Quite simply, if you are required to travel overseas temporarily as part of your work duties and you injure yourself while completing these, you are most likely able to make a workers compensation claim in Australia.

There are some situations where it may not be quite so clear cut. Such as, if you’re employed in Australia and then relocated overseas to an international branch or branches. Generally, if your principal place of employment (where you usually work) is in a country other than Australia, then you are not entitled to claim workers compensation in Australia. If you work in many different countries, then you’ll need to look at your employer’s principal place of business and what laws govern that business.

If you’re temporarily overseas for work, you can only make a workers compensation claim under the same circumstances as you would in Australia. You may not make a claim for injuries that occur outside of work while taking part in recreation activities.

If you are injured while travelling for work and believe you are able to make a workers compensation claim, it’s important to seek trusted advice. There may be time limits for your claim, so make sure you seek advice as soon as you can.

Don’t risk it

As with any type of travel, it’s important to have travel insurance. Before you leave, check with your employer about the type of travel insurance they have for you to make sure that you’re adequately covered. Emergency medical bills can inflate very quickly, whether you are in the course of your work or not.

Contact us

If you’ve been injured while working overseas you may have a claim for workers compensation or Seacare compensation. A qualified expert can help you to access the compensation you’re entitled to in order to get your life back on track. Shine Lawyers are experts in claims during international travel and work on a "no win, no fee" guarantee.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: June 27, 2019.

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