Skip links and keyboard navigation

Queensland Government site header

Media release - Proposed worker definition changes to reduce red tape

Subscribe to the News RSS feed

WorkCover Queensland supports the worker definition provided in the Bill tabled in Parliament on 30 April 2013 by the Attorney-General.

WorkCover Queensland Chair Glenn Ferguson said “moving to the same definition used by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will make it easier for employers and workers to know who is covered for the purposes of workers’ compensation.

“WorkCover’s customers have been confused about coverage and this has been the source of many complaints. Aligning the definition should make declaring workers and their wages for premium easier for employers. Workers can be confident about whether they are covered or not, and if not, ensure they have their own personal injury insurance,” he said.

The main impact will be in the construction and transport industries where there are different contracting arrangements. The coverage for the majority of workers, who are mainly PAYG workers, will be the same.

The proposed definition clarifies that independent contractors are not workers. For example, contractors, such as bob cat operators, who supply substantial plant equipment are not covered; however, those that supply mostly labour only, are covered.

“The information and tools supplied by the ATO for establishing employee versus a contractor are very clear. WorkCover will use these tools in determining who should be covered for workers’ compensation, and this will ensure decisions are consistent,” said Mr Ferguson.

If you have any questions regarding your obligations for workers’ compensation insurance, call 1300 362 128.

For any media inquiries please contact: Lisa Santomauro, Manager Communications, Ph: (07) 3006 6303, Email:

For more information and a link to the ATO website click here.

Last updated
29 May 2017