There is always confusion about whether an ABN holder working for an individual or a company is covered under the Workers’ Compensation Scheme. Most people believe that they are not covered and, indeed, many employers tell those workers that they are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance (whether they believe that to be true or not).
The fact of the matter is that many of those ABN holders, contractors, subcontractors and consultants would in fact be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Scheme.
There is a complicated set of rules used to determine whether someone is a “worker” under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 Qld which I don’t propose to go into here, as they are extremely boring.
To simplify it ,however, if you basically do the same job as any normal employee would do and you effectively have the same rights and obligations as a normal employee but you have your own ABN and you provide invoices to your employer, WorkCover Queensland will still class you as a “worker” under the Workers’ Compensation Scheme and you will be entitled to receive all of the same workers’ compensation benefits that a permanent employee would be entitled to receive, including weekly benefits for your lost income, all reasonable and necessary treatment, medication and rehabilitation paid for and, should you end up sustaining a permanent impairment as a result of that work related injured, then you’ll be entitled to receive a lump sum payment for that permanent impairment.
So what’s the takeaway message? Well, if your “employer” (ie; the individual or company that you’re working for at the time) tells you that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because you are a contractor, an ABN holder or a subcontractor or consultant, don’t accept that what they tell you is correct. Seek legal advice immediately to find out what your rights and obligations are. Almost all reputable personal injury lawyers will provide free advice to you over the telephone and a free initial consultation.
- Sean Delpopolo