3.1.2 Calculate PIAWE

Follow these steps to calculate PIAWE.

Step Agent action
Check information provided about PIAWE

Check the information provided by the worker and the employer about earnings on the:

  • Worker’s Injury Claim form
  • Employer’s Claim Report
  • Calculating Pre-injury Average Weekly Earnings form for employers
  • additional information provided by the worker or employer.

For self-employed persons, further information is required to calculate PIAWE. Refer to Entitlements for self-employed persons.

Confirm information with worker and employer

Confirm with the worker and employer that all the information about the worker’s earnings has been provided so that the worker’s PIAWE is calculated correctly.

Calculate base rate of pay Calculate the worker’s base rate of pay. Base rate of pay is the rate paid to a worker for their ordinary hours of work. It is used to calculate their ordinary earnings.
Confirm periods of leave and any period not worked Confirm periods of leave and whether the worker has been paid at the full rate or less than the full rate during the relevant period as these might impact the calculation of the worker’s ordinary earnings and earnings enhancements. Check whether the worker did not work for any period or was on unpaid leave.
Calculate relevant period Calculate the relevant period to be used to calculate the worker’s ordinary earnings.
Check if overtime or shift allowances received

Check if the worker has worked overtime or paid shift allowances in the relevant period that is to be included as part of their PIAWE.

Payments for overtime and shift allowances are included in the worker's PIAWE under specific conditions.

See: Overtime & shift allowances

Check if additional amounts included in worker’s earnings

Check if the worker:

  • has been paid commissions
  • has been paid piece rates or tally bonuses
  • has instructed their employer to direct part of their salary to another party, commonly called salary sacrifice. The monetary value of this is included in ordinary earnings
  • received non-pecuniary benefits (NPB). The monetary value of residential accommodation, use of a motor vehicle, private health insurance or education fees are included in ordinary earnings.

See: Non-pecuniary benefits & amounts in lieu of salary

Note: If the worker received NPBs also check if the worker has continued to access the NPBs after their injury. The value of this will be deducted from their weekly payments for the period that the worker still has access to the benefit.

Check other factors

Check if other factors impact the PIAWE such as whether the worker’s rate of pay changed, whether they have other concurrent employment or if they are contractors.

See: Changes in pay & incremental increases | Categories of workers

Awards and agreements

Check whether the worker is covered by an award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) and ensure that the PIAWE is consistent with the minimum rate of pay under the relevant award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

For workers where an employer’s payroll records aren’t available, difficult to locate or a worker is paid cash in hand, the Agent should refer to the relevant agreement or industrial award to determine if the worker is entitled to a higher minimum wage. If the worker is entitled to a higher minimum wage under the applicable award or EBA, this wage should be used to calculate PIAWE.

Court order or direction from conciliation An order from a court or a direction from conciliation may direct PIAWE to be determined in a manner that differs from the Agent’s calculation. PIAWE needs to be amended from the beginning of the entitlement to weekly payments or as required by the court order or direction.
Calculate PIAWE for a further compensable injury whilst the worker is still entitled to weekly payments for a prior injury

If a worker sustains a further compensable injury whilst the worker has returned to work following a prior injury and is still entitled to weekly payments for that injury, the amount of weekly payments to be paid to that worker after a further injury, is calculated using the PIAWE prior to the worker's first injury.

Before processing the worker's first weekly payment after a further injury, the Agent must calculate the worker's weekly payment rate, that is 95% of their PIAWE prior to worker's first injury or determine if the statutory maximum applies.

The Agent must check if the worker has claimed overtime and/or shift allowance as part of their PIAWE for the first injury. If overtime and/or shift allowance has been claimed they should be included in the PIAWE for:

  • the first 52 weeks if the claim was received by the Agent on or after 5 April 2010 or
  • the first 26 weeks if the claim was made after 1 September 2000 and was received by the Agent before 5 April 2010.
Calculation of PIAWE on minor claims (claims with less than 10 days time lost) Agents are not required to calculate PIAWE on minor claims (claims with less than 10 days time lost) however it is expected that they provide the appropriate guidance to employers where applicable to assist them in completing the calculation themselves.

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