Should I cover myself or is my hirer responsible for the coverage?
This is one of the most common and difficult questions to answer. The reason that this is such a complex issue is twofold. The first issue relates to your status as an independent contractor ('contract for service' verses 'contract of service'). Please click here for more information on what the difference is. The second issue is the notion of "deemed Worker". Many employment relationships are not standard and irrespective of what your tax status or contractual status might be; some workers, for workers compensation purposes, are also classified as deemed workers. These classes of 'deemed workers' automatically fall under the employer's policy and include, but are not limited to:
- salespersons, canvassers, and collectors
- contractors under labour hire service arrangements
To work out what your insurance status should be ask yourself the following:
1. Am I working via a company or sole tradership?
2. Am I allowed to employ staff in order to honour my contract if necessary?
3. Do I get paid on completion or delivery of the project for which I was hired, and
4. Does my contract require me to have my own Workers Compensation Policy?
If you answer 'no' to any of the following, then chances are you will be covered by the workers compensation policy of the hirer, but do speak to an expert.
It is important to make sure you address this issue by discussing it directly with your hirer and also by liaising with the Work Cover Authority who may be contacted in NSW on 13 10 50 or click here to try their online evaluation tool. Note that WorkCover is a State managed service so make sure you check with the relevant Authority in your State.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market-News 61.