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Normal weekly earnings

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Normal weekly earnings (NWE) are your weekly earnings from continuous or intermittent employment during the 12 months prior to your injury. If you haven't been employed for 12 months, then the earnings for the period you have been employed will be used to calculate your NWE.

It’s important to understand, NWE are not necessarily the same as average weekly earnings. Average weekly earnings are the average of all amounts paid to you. NWE takes into account only regular payments made, which would have continued if not for the injury, including:

  • salary or wages
  • overtime
  • higher duties
  • penalties
  • allowances (except those listed below).

NWE do not include:

  • allowances payable in relation to travelling, car, relocation, meal, education, living in the country or away from home, entertainment, clothing, tools and vehicle expenses
  • employer contributions to a scheme for superannuation benefits (other than contributions made from money payable to you)
  • lump-sum payments on termination of your services for superannuation, accrued holidays, long service leave or any other purposes
  • an amount payable to you as an employer excess payment for an injury.

Calculating NWE

When a worker has earned different amounts each week and it's necessary to determine a weekly rate that is ‘normal’ the NWE calculator is helpful. However, before using the calculator, it’s necessary to identify what amounts are included and excluded from the calculation of NWE (refer to above sections).

Download normal weekly earnings calculator 

What does the NWE calculator do?

The NWE calculator uses statistical measures of mode, median and mean to determine an amount that is ‘normal’.

  • The mode is the most frequently recurring amount.
  • The median is the middle amount in a given sequence of amounts listed in ascending order.
  • The mean is the sum of all amounts divided by the total number of amounts.

The calculator considers:

  • If the mode occurs at least 1/3 of the time. If it does, the mode is used as NWE.
  • If not, the calculator compares the median and the mean.
  • If the mean is within 5% of the median, the greater amount of the two is used as NWE.
  • If the median and the mean differ by more than 5%, the median is used as NWE.
  • If a mode of $0 (nil) occurs at least 1/3 of the time and if the median is also $0 (nil), the mean will be used as NWE.

Instructions for using the NWE Calculator

  1. Right click on the 'Download the normal weekly earnings calculator' link below and select 'Save target as'.
  2. Save the Microsoft Excel Worksheet to your computer and open the Worksheet.
  3. Insert the end date of the first pay period (use the format dd/mm/yyyy).
  4. Insert the end date of the last pay period (use the format dd/mm/yyyy).
  5. Select the frequency of pay from the drop down menu (e.g. weekly, fortnightly, monthly).
  6. Click on ‘list dates for payment entry’.
  7. Insert the amounts for each pay period, rounding up to the nearest $5.00 is appropriate.
  8. Click on ‘calculate NWE’. The mode, median, and mean will be calculated and compared in accordance with the above. The ‘NWE rate’ will tell you a weekly amount for NWE.

Please note: A value must be entered for each pay period, even if the value is $0 (nil). The results from this calculator should be used as guide only. The NWE calculator contains macros and a full installation of Microsoft Excel is needed. To use the calculator, macros must be enabled. The calculator will be regularly updated.

If you need help using the calculator or want more information on normal weekly earnings, call WorkCover Queensland on 1300 362 128.

Last updated
20 August 2014

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