In an effort to ensure that the benefits applicable to both employees or independent contractors under the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 are clear and easy to understand, from 1 July 2013, the present definition of ‘worker’ under the Worker’s Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 will be amended to define a ‘worker’ as ‘a person who works under a contract and, in relation to the work, is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding under the Taxation Administration Act 1953…’.
Put simply, a person who is liable to pay PAYG tax instalments, or for whom the employer must withhold PAYG tax payments from, will be classed as a ‘worker’ under the Act.
This amendment has the ability to effect people who are employed under various working arrangements in many different industries by including them within the definition of ‘worker’, and as a result of the new definition, certain individuals will also be excluded as ‘workers’ under the Act from 1 July 2013.
For example, machinery operators who supply extensive amounts of plant and equipment may not fall within the definition of ‘worker’ as it appears that the scope under the Act has been narrowed to cover only those individuals that supply mainly labour services.
Individuals who are presently classed as ‘sub-contractors’ will be significantly effected as a result of this amendment and should ensure that they understand the implications of the new definition, as it is likely they will fall under the definition of ‘worker’ under the Act from 1 July 2013.
It is hoped that the amendments will dispel confusion and provide employees, independent contractors and employers with clear guidelines as to their WorkCover entitlements and options under the Act.
Should you have any questions about your employment or the status of your employees, please do not hesitate to contact our Gold Coast Law Firm on 07 5630 6888 for assistance.