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31.12.4 Historical - Comparison of NWE (SRCA) with the AWE (1971 Act)

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In consideration of the benefits base for the 1988 Act, it was decided that, rather than setting a ceiling for benefits as in the 1971 Act, NWE in the SRCA would form the basis for calculation, i.e. weekly incapacity benefits would be earnings-related for the full duration of the incapacity. This earnings figure is established via Ss8 and 9 of the SRCA, which provide for the calculation of a client's normal weekly earnings before their injury. Under the SRCA, it is therefore necessary to calculate NWE in all cases where incapacity arises.

While the NWE provisions of the SRCA are similar in nature to Average Weekly Earnings calculated under S25 of the 1971 Act, in that there are averaging provisions, there are several differences in the way the calculations are approached. The most relevant difference in the military compensation context is that the period over which earnings are averaged is much shorter (only 2 weeks in some cases). The SRCA has addressed this by providing for a 'relevant period' over which a NWE figure is to be calculated.

References
Normal Weekly Earnings ('NWE'): Chapter 31
  • MCRI 26 : Indexation of NWE – Update under S8(9B) effective 1 July 2002
  • MCRI 23 : NWE in a Changed Remuneration Environment
  • MCRI 20(Amdt 1) : Indexation of NWE (WPI Increases)
  • PACMAN, Pay & Conditions Manual
  • JPA 2002/07 : Indexation of NWE – Update under S8(9B) effective 1 July 2002
  • JPA 2002/05 : Indexation of NWE for ex-employees
  • JPA 2001/16 : NWE in a Changed Remuneration Environment
  • Comcare v Thompson (2000) FCA 790 : Australian Workplace Agreements
  • McDonald v Department of Defence (FC 99/0882, 1 July 1999) : NWE is based on earnings at date of injury, not first incapacity
  • Morey-Hype and Department of Defence (AAT 99/0194, 29 March 1999) : Retention Bonuses
  • COA2-96/002 : Averaging to weekly rates
  • Comcare Operations Manual vol 14, pt 2 : Establishing NWE in transitional cases
  • Comcare Operations Manual vol.10, pt 2 : Normal Weekly Earnings
  • Comcare Operations Manual vol.10, pt.2 : Allowances
  • Hillman and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission No,2009/1306 AATA 28 January 2011