Negosentro.com | What is Hazard Pay and When Do Employees Receive It? | You may have heard of the term ‘hazard pay’ and even wondered if it’s relevant to you. Before you go to your employer and demand it, you should understand what hazard pay is and when employees receive it.
The simple description is that hazard pay is given to employees when they undertake work that is potentially detrimental to their health. There are no official regulations regarding what is considered hazardous at work, that’s for your employer and you to decide.
However, the term detrimental to health can cover an array of issues. The more obvious hazards are things like being asked to work in a volcano where there is clearly a risk of death or serious injury. The same could be said for working on an oil rig. After all, if something goes wrong there aren’t many escape routes.
But, aside from the obvious jobs that make you risk your life, there are less obvious examples, such as extreme physical discomfort. This could be if you spend all day inside sewers, the smell and confined spaces will be physically uncomfortable.
It should be noted that be entitled to hazard pay does not change the employer’s duty to provide you with high-quality workwear in Woolongong or any other location.
If you’re not sure whether you should be getting hazard pay consider the probability of you having a serious injury or dying while working. IF the risk is high then you should be getting hazard pay.
However, you should be aware that there is currently no law forcing employers to pay hazard pay. It’s generally defined as an industry thing, once several firms in any industry start to pay it others will follow.
If you are offered hazard pay the amount and the conditions you need to work in will be set by your employer;
Getting Your Hazard Pay
This is the easy part! Your hazard pay will be included in your normal wages. It should be listed in the overtime section but as a bonus. You will be subject to tax on it in the same way as any other earnings.
The alternative, instead of adding a bonus to your wages, is to simply increase your hourly rate. You’ll need to be informed that the increased rate covers the additional risk you face completing a specific role.
For example, nursing staff could be offered more per hour to keep working during the COVID-19 crisis.
Paying hazard pay by increasing your wages means you’ll get more money if you work more hours. Adding a bonus indicates you’re getting a flat rate for the risk, regardless of how many hours are worked. You should check the details before you accept the hazard pay offer.
Don’t forget that hazard pay will only be offered when you’re undertaking hazardous work. If you spend half your time in the office and the other half in the sewers you’re only going to get the hazard pay for the time in the sewers.
Many professions can be called hazardous if you’re in one of them make sure you discuss hazard pay before you accept a contract.