What is the definition of a worker?


What is the definition of a worker?

What exactly is a worker? That is a question NSW Minister for Commerce John Della Bosca wants to know the answer to.


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What exactly is a worker? That is a question NSW Minister for Commerce John Della Bosca wants to know the answer to. 

And to help find the answer he has released a comprehensive discussion paper on who exactly is considered a ‘worker’ under NSW workers compensation laws. 

Della Bosca said that to reduce their workers compensation premiums, some employers claim their workers should be considered independent contractors, requiring their own insurance. 

‘Clear and simple identification about who is a worker will minimise disputes about whether an injured worker is entitled to compensation and make it easier for employers to pay the correct premium,’ he said.  

Della Bosca is encouraging unions and employers to take part in public meetings next month to put their views about the current definition, particularly relating to contractors. 

A series of public consultation sessions in Sydney, Parramatta and Gosford will be held by WorkCover NSW as part of its review of the current definition of a ‘worker’ for workers compensation purposes.  

‘I want any change to be simple, clear and fair,’ Della Bosca said. 

‘The public consultation will examine issues that arise when applying the current definition to workers, including independent contractors, labour hire workers and outworkers.’ 

Della Bosca said he was also seeking public comment on issues that relate to specific industries and occupations to determine if there is a need to modify or expand the current provisions.   

‘As well as minor changes to clarify coverage of labour hire workers and outworkers, proposed changes include adopting a modified Australian Taxation Office personal services income definition and retention of the common law definition of “contract of service”,’ he said.  

‘We are expecting that the new provisions will be in place by 30 June 2005.’ 

Public seminars will be held in Sydney, Parramatta and Gosford on the following dates:  

11 February 2005 2pm-4pm Masonic Centre, Sydney       

14 February 2005 4:30pm –6:30pm Crowne Plaza, Parramatta                                   

16 February 2005 4:30pm-6:30pm Central Coast Leagues Club,Dane Drive, Gosford 

17 February 2005 5:30pm-7:30pm  Masonic Centre, Sydney 

Attendance is free, but bookings are essential onphone (02) 4321 5234. 

Further detail on specific proposals for changing the definition are outlined in the paper available on WorkCover’s website.



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