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WorkCover provides guidance on changes to compensation scheme

WorkCover Queensland says those seeking more information on changes to workers compensation scheme should contact the agency

July 17, 2013

Owner-drivers have been stripped of workers compensation in Queensland, but WorkCover says the majority of workers will continue to be covered.

The agency has provided details on the people affected by the Queensland Government’s decision to alter the definition of worker to exclude contractors.

The change adopts the definition the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) uses and took effect on July 1.

“There is no change for the majority of workers who will continue to be covered for workers’ compensation,” WorkCover says.

“The main impact from July 1 is in the construction and transport industries where there are different contracting arrangements.”

WorkCover says examples of those no longer granted access to workers compensation include those who supply and operate their own plant, such as earthmoving equipment or trucks as part of their contract.

The exclusion also applies to those who work mainly for labour only, quote for the job, provide their tools of trade, rectify defects at their own expense, subcontract labour and have a personal services business determination from the ATO.

WorkCover says those seeking more information on the change to the scheme can contact it on 1300 362 128 or click here for more information.

The Queensland Transport Workers Union (TWU) opposed the change to the definition of worker.

Secretary Peter Biagini says owner-drivers relied on WorkCover to pay their medical expenses if they were injured on the job.

“The benefit of using WorkCover is it would pay loss of wages plus medical bills. Sickness and accident [insurance] only covers loss of wages,” he says.

Biagini says owner-drivers will now need to take out private health cover, but adds that many will not be able to afford to do so.

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