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36.1.2 The meaning of the 'minimum earnings' provisions

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This provision means that:

  • after the first 45 weeks of incapacity, and
  • if the client is not engaged in actual employment during the week,

where compensation calculated under S19(3)(a) is less than 'minimum earnings' i.e. the lesser of:

  • a statutory rate set by Ss19(7)(a), (8) and (9), or
  • 90% of the employee's normal weekly earnings,

the compensation payable shall be raised to that minimum level.

Note that the 'minimum earnings' floor does not apply where the client is engaged in some actual employment during the week. Where the client is so engaged,
Ss19(3)(b)-(f) provide for a higher rate of compensation based on their relevant 'adjustment percentage'.

Note also that Section 19(7)(a) specifies the 'minimum earnings' amount for a client and Subsections (8) and (9) provide for a higher amount when the employee has 'prescribed persons' or 'prescribed children' (respectively) wholly or mainly dependent on him or her. The identity of prescribed persons, prescribed children and the matter of dependency is discussed in detail at Parts 36.2 to 36.6. These instructions are of some importance when applying the minimum earnings provisions and delegates should read those Parts now.