All PAYG employees and some contractors are generally considered workers. But the legal definition can be complex and there are some exceptions to the rule.
Some people are not considered workers under the Act, for the purposes of workers’ compensation, and there are specific inclusions and exclusions.
As set out in the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, a worker is:
- only an individual, not a corporation, partnership or trust (sole traders may be considered workers)
- a ‘person who works under a contract and, in relation to the work, is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding
- someone who works under a ‘contract of service’, like a sub-contractor. This worker may do the same work as an employee and could also be a worker under the Act.
A ‘contract of service’ is the contract between employer and employee. This is how most employers employ their workers. It’s not the same as a ‘contract for services’, which is generally an arrangement with a contractor.
There are simple tests you can apply to help you work out who is considered a worker and who isn’t. Learn more about them.