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What if my employer calls me an independent contractor - can I still claim compensation or damages for my work injury?

Even though you may be termed an independent contractor, contractor or sub-contractor by the party engaging your services when your work injury occurred, it may very well be that you have the right to claim Workers' Compensation, Statutory Lump Sum Compensation or Common Law Damages, or all of these payments, as a "worker" under workers' compensation legislation.

Following a review of the workers' compensation scheme by the Queensland State Government, changes were made to workers' compensation legislation in Queensland to limit the rights of workers who hold an ABN number and issue invoices to their employer in respect to their work. The legislative changes result in the same definition of "worker" applying in workers' compensation claims as that under taxation laws. To learn more about this, click on the following link to our "News" page: Changes to who is a "worker" in workers' compensation claims.

Just because you cannot claim workers' compensation because you are deemed an "independent contractor", "contractor" of "sub-contractor", does not mean you do not have a right to claim damages. You may still have a right to claim from the entity or company who contracted your services, or another party, where a negligent act or ommission has resulted in your injury occurring.  These claims are usually pursued as a public liability claim, as opposed to a workers' compensation claim.

If you need assistance in determining whether you or not you are a worker under the Workers' Compensation Act 2003, contact us at The Personal Lawyers who may be able to assist with any queries or claim.

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