Over 200,000 Australians during the 2014/2015 financial year who had to take time off work due to illness or injury were not financially compensated, new research has found.
Following an assessment of figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, life insurance comparison site lifeinsurancefinder.com.au found that of the 531,800 people who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the year, 205,600 did not receive compensation.
Commenting on the findings, lifeinsurancefinder.com.au money expert Michelle Hutchinson said the number of people who are not aware of their compensation rights was worrying.
“It’s alarming that so many Australians aren’t taking steps to cover themselves and their households financially,” she said.
“Our research shows that over 40,000 Australians who were injured or fell ill at work didn’t receive compensation or sick leave because they either weren’t aware or didn’t think they were eligible.
“Another 16,000 people didn’t take out compensation due to a perceived negative impact on their current or future work,” Ms Hutchinson said.
She added that holding suitable income protection can be one way to “weaken the blow” of a work-related injury or illness.
“[It can also] give you a financial crutch to lean on while you’re recovering – just don’t be one of the two in five who don’t make the effort to find compensation,” Ms Hutchinson said.
The research conducted by the comparison site noted that sprains accounted for 33.1 per cent of work-related injuries, while chronic joint or muscle conditions accounted for 21.1 percent, fractures 6.8 per cent and stress and mental conditions accounted for 4.8 per cent.Also noted was that while 91 per cent of work-related injuries and illnesses occurred on-site, women were more likely to be injured travelling to or from work than men (8,600 women compared with 3,700 men).