3.7.4 Worker in prison

A worker’s weekly payments are not terminated when the worker is imprisoned - they cease for the period of imprisonment.

Provisions of the legislation

A worker is not entitled to weekly payments while they serve a sentence in a prison in Victoria or similar institution outside Victoria. This is regardless of whether the sentence is imposed under Victorian law or any other place.

For a definition of a prison, see the Corrections Act 1986.

A worker on remand is not regarded as serving a sentence of imprisonment.

If the worker is later found guilty of an offence and sentenced to a period of imprisonment, the remand period is usually included in the period of imprisonment. In such cases, WorkSafe can recover payments made during the remand period.

Certificate of capacity

Workers are not required to provide Certificates of Capacity for the period of imprisonment because they are not entitled to weekly payments.

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Definition of Imprisonment

The relevant section of the Corrections Act 1986 is section (4), which states:

  • a person of whatever age who is detained in custody in a prison or is serving a sentence of imprisonment is deemed to be in the custody of the Director-General.
  • the following persons are not to be regarded as being in the Director-General’s custody:
  • a person who is on parole
  • a person who is serving the whole or a part of a prison sentence in a police gaol
  • a person who under an Act other than this Act has been transferred to and is detained in a place for the detention and care of persons who are mentally ill or intellectually disadvantaged
  • a person who by order of a court is held in police custody
  • a person for whom a pre-release permit is in force
  • a person who is appearing before a court and who is in the custody of a member of the police force.
  • a person is on parole if there is in force a parole order for that person and the person is serving a sentence of imprisonment but is not detained in custody in a prison.
Cease weekly payments when worker is imprisoned

Weekly payments cease from the date the worker is imprisoned. A formal notice is not required under the legislation, however, Agents must write to advise the employer and worker of the decision to cease weekly payments.

Reinstate payments when imprisonment term end

The worker’s entitlement to weekly payments may be reinstated at the end of the term of imprisonment:

The worker is not required to lodge a new claim form for payments to recommence.

Review claim after payments are reinstated

When payments are reinstated, Agents should consider if a medical examination is needed to decide if the worker is still entitled to compensation.

The need for a medical examination is determined in part by the period of imprisonment.

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