AS BUSY individuals, we sometimes pay cleaners, babysitters, gardeners and others to help us at home. There is a common misconception these people are always contractors, as opposed to employees. But that may not be the case.
You have a duty of care to entrants on your property to take reasonable steps to avoid exposing them to risk of injury. If an entrant is injured on your property, then, assuming you have public liability… insurance, the policy will usually respond to any injury claim. However, public liability insurance does not cover employees injured during the course of employment, which would leave you personally liable (the amount could be significant).
You should consider if your workers are properly characterised as contractors or employees and what, if any, compulsory insurance obligations you might have.
The Australian Taxation Office provides a tool, the “Employee/contractor decision tool”, which can assist in characterising a worker as an “employee” or “contractor”. If employees, consider whether they meet the definition of household worker under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014, which is “a person employed solely in and about, or in connection with, a private dwelling house or the grounds of a dwelling house”.
If you employ a household worker, you must have workers’ compensation insurance. WorkCover Queensland offers a specific Household Worker insurance policy with a $50 premium for two years.
Consider your individual circumstances and seek advice if needed.
Until next week – Keep it Legal!
*The legal information in this article is of a general nature only and not intended to be legal advice to rely upon.