Everyone has the right to go to work each day, knowing they’ll come home safely. If you’ve been injured or become ill at work – or on the way to work – you may be entitled to make a claim for workers’ compensation to cover lost wages, medical and rehabilitation costs, retraining expenses or a lump sum payment for permanent injuries.

There have been a lot of changes to arrangements in NSW for seeking workers’ compensation in recent years. You could be forgiven for being a little confused about where to start. After all, workers’ compensation laws and entitlements are already a little hard to keep up with because they vary between states and territories and may be known as WorkCover, CTP or WorkSafe. Compensation and benefits can vary greatly depending on your injury and on the law you’re covered by.

If you’ve been injured on the way to work in NSW, Littles has you covered. This blog will bring you up to speed about what your rights are.

What’s a journey claim?

Did you know that in NSW you’re covered for workers compensation to and from work if there’s a real and substantial connection between the accident that caused your injury and your employment? These are known as ‘journey claims’. In this article we explain the situations where you may be eligible for workers compensation to and from work, highlight the occupations where employees are certainly covered for journey claims in NSW and any other circumstances where journey claims are warranted.

Under NSW workers’ compensation legislation, your journey to work starts when you leave ome, and continues to the moment enter your employer’s premises.

It’s also important to note that your employer’s boundary is not limited to the exact shop, office or site – it can include shopping centres, office buildings and carparks.

What do you mean by a ‘real and substantial connection’?

The term ‘real and substantial connection’, as it relates to journey claims, effectively means a strong and established reason beyond just travelling to or from work at the time of the accident. In order to be successful, you need to establish a special reason that links your employment to the accident.


For example:

· you’re forced to work late on a project and drive home in a storm that obstructs your vision and causes you to have a serious accident

· you’re called into work at very late notice and you’re rushing to get there on time but trip down some stairs at the train station

Remember: Certain workers do not need to show a ‘real and substantial connection’. These occupations include:

· coal miners

· police officers

· paramedics

· fire fighters

· emergency services volunteers 

Read more: NSW workers’ compensation claims: What’s an exempt worker? – Littles

What if I was injured on my lunch break?

A lunch break is considered an ‘authorised recess’. As long as you’re not engaging in an unauthorised reckless activity, you’ll likely be covered for workers’ compensation purposes even if you’re injured outside your employer’s boundary.

For example, if you’re an office worker and trip over and seriously injure your wrist at a regulatr lunchtime soccer practice with your firm’s soccer team, you’ll likely be covered.

Where you likely won’t be covered is if you engage and are injured in an ‘unauthorised reckless activity’ that was in no way encouraged by your employer, such as tackle football game at a nearby park.

Read more here: NSW workers’ compensation claims: What’s an independent medical examination (IME) – Littles

 Help! My NSW workers’ compensation claim has been rejected. What do I do? – Littles

Don’t delay – seek advice now

Clearly, the workers’ compensation system can be complex, which is why it helps to seek quality legal advice as soon as possible. At Littles, we are experts in workplace injuries, and can help manage the process to ensure that you receive all appropriate entitlements and support. With Littles on your side, we can ensure that you get the fair treatment you deserve.


If your workers’ compensation claim has been rejected, or you would like to understand how to claim benefits to support you and your family while you are injured or ill, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.


IMPORTANT: There are strict time limits for making and disputing a claim, so take advantage of our FREE initial consultation and get in touch. You have nothing to lose by speaking to one of our compensation law experts. The sooner we determine your eligibility to make or appeal a claim, the sooner we can help you to obtain or continue getting funding from the insurer so your rehabilitation can proceed smoothly.

Free advice and no upfront fees

Not only do we offer a FREE initial consultation we handle most insurance claims on a no win, no fee basis.

The Head of our NSW team, Jessica Cheung, is an expert in NSW workers’ compensation claims. If you think you might have a claim, reach out to Jessica and her team for high quality legal advice

Please note that this information is intended to provide general guidance only. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your individual circumstances. For further information, please contact Littles.

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