Casual Workers and WorkCover Claims

Casual workers and WorkCover

With the gig economy growing substantially, Shane Crew of Crew Legal, a personal injury law firm on the Redcliffe peninsula, answers the question; are casual workers covered if they are injured on the job?

As a casual worker you are covered if you are injured on the job as you do fit within the definition of an employee. Under WorkCover laws, the first step to look at is if you are a worker under the act. In its simplistic form, a worker is defined as an employee for PAYG tax purposes. A true independent contractor is a different matter. They are not necessarily a worker. Although just because you are called an independent contractor, it doesn’t mean that you are.

Here are some indicia of employment factors to look at that may define someone as an employee rather than an independent contractor:

  • Control
  • Supervision of work
  • Wearing a uniform with a logo
  • Being told where to be and when to be there
  • Do you use your own tools or the tools of the company?

What is WorkCover?

WorkCover is a compulsory scheme in Queensland for injured workers and employees. It was set up to provide worker compensation. There are two types of WorkCover claims:

  • A Statutory Claim is a no-fault scheme. If you meet three criteria – you are a worker, you’ve suffered an injury, and your work is a significant contributing factor to the injury, then you are entitled to benefits under the WorkCover Laws.
  • A Common Law Claim is a fault-based claim. In addition to establishing the three criteria for the statutory claim, you also have to establish that the injury was due to negligence on the part of the employer. This is a claim that comes second and is a claim for a lump sum of money as opposed to wages or medical bills etc. A Common Law Claim can be significantly higher than a Statutory Claim as it includes damages for not only what has happened to you so far but also any future loss of income, future expenses you may incur as a result of the injury.

Are there any loopholes where people end up not being covered or protected in a way they thought they might be?

This comes back to the question, are you classed as a worker or an independent contractor.

Some employers attempting to reduce their exposure to superannuation benefits or WorkCover premiums may require you to have your own ABN and invoice them for your hours worked and be paid that way. This opens up the danger of how you are classified – an employee or an independent contractor, and where the indicia of employment factors come into play.

This is when you may need to seek advice. We work with clients across Brisbane and invite you to contact us to have your specific questions answered or read more about work accident claims on our site. 

How can Crew Legal help?

Crew Legal pride ourselves on providing quality advice at the right price. We will ensure that you receive the best advice for your situation and are committed to ensuring that everybody has access to that advice.

We provide a first consultation completely free and with no obligation. If the claim is undertaken, we will proceed with such claims on a ‘No Win/No Fee’ basis.

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