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Frequently asked questions

Q: What is a household worker insurance policy?

A household worker policy covers you against potential compensation costs if a household worker you employ is injured while working for you.

Where the worker is working for you in the capacity of employee of a business, any costs related to their injury should be covered by that business’ accident insurance policy.

Q: I have public liability insurance. Won’t this cover any visitors who injure themselves at my home?

Public liability insurance is usually included in your home and contents insurance; however it only covers visitors to your home, not those you employ.

Q: An agency sent my nanny/cleaner/carer etc. Won’t insurance be covered by
the agency?

If the agency referred the worker from its database, however it was you who did the hiring, you are responsible for covering them for workers’ compensation insurance as you are their employer

Q: What does a household worker insurance policy cover?

This type of policy covers household workers for both statutory and common law claim costs due to injuries sustained in the course of their employment with you. These costs include medical expenses and weekly compensation when unable to work.

Q: Who is a household worker?

Under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2003 (Qld), the definition of household worker includes the following important concepts:

  • a private dwelling house or the grounds of the dwelling house
  • ‘in and about’ (a private dwelling house or the grounds of the dwelling house); and
  • ‘in connection with’ (a private dwelling house or the grounds of the dwelling house).

To check if you need household worker insurance for workers, sole traders or contractors you may be hiring, check out the Australian Tax Office's Employee/Contractor decision tool.

Q: If I employ a licenced tradesperson from a company, do I need household worker insurance?

If the tradesperson is employed by a company then no, you won't need a household worker policy. The tradesperson should be covered by their company's accident insurance policy.

Q: I employ multiple contractors at my home, some with their own ABNs. How can I be sure which contractors I need to cover?

It always pays to check the status of sole traders. Even if they have an ABN and refer to themselves as ‘contractors’, some sole traders might do work more like a worker.

If you're unsure whether you need a policy, call WorkCover on 1300 362 128 and we'll be happy to help you.

Q: I have household worker insurance from another state. Does this mean I'm still covered in Queensland?

Domestic worker insurance is offered as an optional extra with some home and contents insurance policies in only some states and territories.

However, in Queensland, workers compensation insurance is administered solely by WorkCover Queensland and all household worker insurance policies must be obtained through WorkCover.

Q: What if I'm renting a property - isn't my landlord responsible for any workers who work in and around the property?

Workers who are directly engaged by landlords or property agents are generally covered by an accident insurance policy. However, if a renter directly engages a casual worker (eg. cleaner, babysitter) then the renter is required to have household worker insurance.

Q: Shouldn't the household worker be responsible for their own safety? Why should home owners and renters have to take out insurance?

If a home owner or renter employs a casual worker they are ultimately responsible for the worker. The same responsibility applies to employers in a traditional workplace.

Q: What does the term “in and about” mean?

A person is being employed “in and about” a private dwelling house or its grounds if the work activities are undertaken inside the residence or within its grounds.

Example 1 – inside the dwelling:

Employer engages a worker to clean their home once a week. The home is the employer’s private dwelling and the worker is employed to clean inside it. The worker is employed solely in and about a private dwelling. The worker is therefore a household worker.

Example 2 – in the grounds of the dwelling:

A person engages a worker to do garden maintenance once a month. The garden maintenance is done in the grounds of the employer’s private dwelling. The worker is employed solely in and about the grounds of a private dwelling. The worker is therefore a household worker.

Q: What does the term “in connection with” mean?

A person is being employed “in connection with” a private dwelling house or its grounds if the work activities undertaken are done in connection with the domestic residence.

Example 1 – child care:

A nanny is required to take the children she cares for to school each day. While driving the children to school is not in and about the house, it is work done in connection with the domestic residence, and so may be covered under a household worker policy.

Example 2 – other premises:

A person has a yacht, which is used for recreational purposes only and is moored at a local marina. The owner engages a person to clean the inside of the yacht at times when it is not in use. As this is still in connection with the yacht owner's private dwelling house or grounds, the cleaner would be covered under a household worker policy.

Q: What if I already have an accident insurance policy?

When an employer has an accident insurance policy for workers, and also engages household workers, the household workers are covered under the accident insurance policy.

If household workers are also covered under an accident insurance policy, the wages for those household workers do not need to be declared. This ensures household workers are insured under accident insurance policies consistently with the arrangements of a household worker policy.

Q: I am a self-managed NDIS participant and engage support workers. Are my workers covered by a household worker insurance policy?

As the support workers are employed in and about, or in connection with, a private dwelling house or the grounds of the dwelling house, the workers will be covered by a Household worker insurance policy.

Q: Can someone running their own business be considered a household worker?

The only difference between a household worker and an ordinary worker is that a household worker is employed in connection with a private dwelling. With this in mind – the same worker definition guidelines that apply to ordinary workers also apply to household workers.

Householder worker – yes or no?

Employed at…
Covered by household worker policy?

Private dwelling or place of residence – house, apartment, boat or caravan

Yes – it is not limited to a particular structure

Gardens of a private dwelling

Yes – includes those who work in or around the place of residence

Holiday home

Yes – as long as it is not rented

Rental property

No – an accident insurance policy is needed to cover workers engaged at a rental property

Rental property employed by tenants

Yes – only if directly engaged by the tenants of the rental property

Place of residence also used for business purposes

Yes – only if not engaged in connection with the business

Bed and breakfast establishment

No – a bed and breakfast establishment is a business

New house construction

No – a house is not considered to be a person’s private dwelling until it has been lived in

Multiple properties

Yes – if each property is a private dwelling

Last updated
01 July 2019

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