What is WorkCover Stress Leave?

WorkCover stress leave is a type of leave that employees in Australia can take if they are suffering from work-related stress that makes them unable to work. To be eligible for WorkCover stress leave, employees must have a medical certificate from a doctor stating that their stress is work-related and that they are unable to work. Employees who are on WorkCover stress leave will receive weekly payments from WorkCover to compensate them for their lost wages.


WorkCover is a lifeline for workers that goes beyond physical injuries and includes the often-overlooked realm of psychological well-being. “Psychological injury” is the general term used to describe the damage that work-related stress, anxiety, and depression can have on mental health. In this way, WorkCover recognises that your mental well-being is just as important as your physical health in the workplace.

Safe Work Australia’s 2022 report on work injuries, health, and safety in Australian workplaces notes that serious claims for mental health conditions have gone up from 6.2% in 2014 to 9.3% between 2020 and 2021. This 9.3% made up 12,155 serious mental health claims, of which 36% were related to stress and anxiety disorders.

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The increase in cases shows us that work-related stress is, unfortunately, becoming more prominent. But it also shows us, quite importantly, that people are not shying away from claiming the compensation they deserve. 

How Does WorkCover Stress Leave Function?

Preparing for Leave

First, you’ll need to book and attend an appointment with a healthcare professional to get a diagnosis. This medical certificate will need to have the details of your work-related stress. It will also specifically state that you were injured at work – that your stress is caused by something that happened at your workplace. 

One thing to remember at this point is to try to keep communication open and transparent with your employer. If you have any emails, text messages, or any other communication in writing, give your lawyers a copy so that they can use it in your case, if necessary. Once approved, you can take your leave with confidence, knowing that prioritising your mental health is not just a right but a necessity.

Support During Leave

Once on leave, remember that your focus should be on your well-being and recovery. WorkCover offers potential benefits, including financial support for medical treatment. Resources and support systems are available to guide you through this journey – you’re not alone, and your well-being matters.

Returning to Work (Optional)

The return-to-work process is important and emphasises open communication with your employer and encourages a safe and supportive working environment. Even after returning to work, always remember the importance of self-care and prioritising mental health. Moreover, if you’re feeling awkward or anxious about returning, keep this in mind as you may find some comfort in the numbers: you’re not the first person ever to claim stress leave, nor will you be the last. 

At WT Compensation Lawyers, we understand the challenges you face regarding injuries at work, and we recognise that your well-being is a huge concern. Our commitment is to guide you through the complicated legal aspects of WorkCover stress leave and make sure that you have the support and representation you need to get through this challenging terrain.

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


what is work related stress
what is work related stress m

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is a constant and harmful pattern of mistreatment. Bullying can be verbal, physical, or psychological, and it can be carried out by one or more colleagues. 

This behaviour creates a hostile working environment, and more often than not, the targeted person experiences high levels of stress and anxiety. Some people may find it difficult to label an action as workplace bullying, but it often takes the form of belittling, being excluded from the group, and the misuse of power.


Harassment in the workplace involves any unwanted or offensive behaviour, comments, or actions that create an intimidating, hostile, or humiliating atmosphere for the targeted person. Workplace harassment can take many forms, such as verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or discrimination based on race, gender, or other protected characteristics. 

When someone is harassed, it can cause significantly high-stress levels and negatively impact an individual’s overall well-being.

Unfair Action Taken by Management

Employees typically look to their leaders for support and fairness. However, when management takes unfair actions, it can remove trust and contribute to work-related stress. Some common examples of these unjust actions include inconsistently applying policies, favouritism, or unfair disciplinary action. 

It’s also worth noting that if employees feel like their organisation’s hierarchy is biased or unfair, this will be a significant source of frustration and anxiety amongst employees.

Excessive Workload

Excessive workload is a common cause of work-related stress, as it places extreme pressure on individuals to meet unrealistic demands. An excessive workload often includes long working hours, tight deadlines, and overwhelming tasks. 

Over time, the constant struggle to keep up with such a demanding workload can create an ongoing, perpetual state of stress. This is not healthy and will affect job satisfaction and overall quality of life.

How Do I Claim WorkCover Stress Leave?

Are you or a loved one feeling overwhelmed by work-related stress? Making a WorkCover claim for stress leave might be a step you need to take towards recovery. But, the process can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know:

Understand Your Entitlements

Your right to paid sick leave, including sick leave for stress-related illness, falls under Fair Work Australia. You are entitled to full pay during the leave period. However, WorkCover’s specific requirements for stress leave depend on your employer and employment terms.

Beyond Temporary Relief

You might feel a lot better after taking leave, but it’s important to remember that chronic stress often requires more than a quick break. You may need therapy and extended leave for complete recovery. Your doctor will talk to you about your needs and decide on the appropriate length of your sick leave and treatment plan.

Documenting Your Case

As we mentioned above, you’ll need to visit your doctor and get a medical certificate. You can also collect any records of specific instances of stress, including dates, times, and any witnesses, if possible. You may have emails, text messages, and even social media posts that can support your stress compensation claim. 

Remember, You’re Not Alone

You don’t have to get through a mental injury claim all on your own. Moreover, understanding the complicated leave process shouldn’t be your burden. So, consider speaking to a qualified lawyer experienced in WorkCover in Queensland claims for guidance and support. 

Our WorkCover Stress Leave Lawyers

At WT Compensation Lawyers, we understand the challenges individuals face with following the complexities of WorkCover claims. That’s why we’ve designed a streamlined process to make sure you receive the support and compensation you deserve every step of the way.

  1. Unburden Your Story: We believe in active listening and empathetic understanding. Share your experience, and let us guide you through your unique situation.
  2. Empowering Knowledge: Feeling lost in legal jargon? No worries. We offer a free consultation where we’ll walk you through your rights and the legal landscape so that you can make informed decisions.
  3. Your Dedicated WorkCover Lawyers: Leave the legwork to us. Our experienced team manages all aspects of your claim, from documentation to communication, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
  4. Maximise Your Compensation: We’re skilled negotiators who will strategically advocate for your best interests. We aim to secure you the highest possible compensation through effective communication and unwavering dedication.

We’re your trusted partner in regaining control and claiming workers’ compensation. We’ll navigate complex legal hurdles, fight for your rightful entitlements, and stand by your side to ensure justice is served.

Contact us today for a free consultation and experience the difference between having personalised support and unwavering commitment.

WorkCover Stress Leave FAQs

You’ll need to show two things: that your job did something wrong that caused your stress, and that your stress is connected to your job. If you can prove these two things, you could get help with medical bills, income while you’re healing, and even money for retraining if you can’t do your old job any more. Remember, gathering evidence like emails, notes, and witness names can help you get what you deserve.

For all workplace injuries, WorkCover has 20 business days to make a decision. You may need to have an independent psychiatrist assessment and possibly an investigation. Don’t go it alone! Seek legal advice from your WorkCover lawyers in Brisbane, especially if your employer contacts you about the investigator. Remember, evidence and support are key to claiming your rightful compensation.

Contact Us

When it’s time to talk, we’re not just personal injury lawyers – we’re compassionate listeners. Join us for your free consultation, and let’s take the first step together towards securing the WorkCover compensation you rightfully deserve.

What our clients say

Thank you WT Compensation Lawyers for your hard work, commitment and dedication towards settling my case. This was my first ever experience having the helping hand of a lawyer and I’m glad it was with your firm! Thank you very much for making everything seem so easy and clear for me to understand. I will definitely know who I can trust in regards to seeking legal aid

Asipeli Feki

Warm, kind, compassionate, knowledgeable… I could go on and on about Jono and his great team at WT Compensation Lawyers. The words thank you don’t even begin to describe how grateful I am to this great team of personal injury lawyers and for the way they help people and show that they genuinely care about their clients.

R Rasul

I am beyond grateful for the genuine assistance of WT Compensation lawyers to get through with my claim. Absolutely every single person I had contact with at the team were amazing. I especially want to thank Jono Wu who helped me achieve an outstanding outcome.

Virginia Su

Jono, Sinny and everyone at WT Compensation Lawyers are the best car accident lawyers in Brisbane I’ve come across. The genuine care, compassion and human kindness they show to their clients is clear from the very first moment you speak to them. I cannot recommend them enough to anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer and would not hesitate at all to refer any of my family or friends. Thank you guys always for all your great work.

Ru McKinnon

Big thanks to WT, Jono, Sinny and the entire team. I couldn’t be happier with boys and the help they’ve given me and my family over the years. Both my sister and partner had car accidents and got unreal results from their claim. These guys are talented, empathetic and genuinely want the best for their clients and I couldn’t recommend them more if you want the best car accident lawyers.

Tylor Bunting

Even if at fault, you may have a right to compensation. Start your claims check:


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