You are now safer as a contractor in the ACT after the ACT Government recently directed that only your employer can cover you for workers compensation. It is important that we understand this is not something new; it has been a component of the ACT Workers Compensation Act since 1951. It is not a change to the Act; it is what has always been required.
What has changed is that only your recruitment company can legally take out your compensation insurance because it has the contract to supply your labour to its client.
The reason this has been reinforced is that a contractor was injured at work and his employer, as described in the ACT Workers Compensation Act, refused to accept they were the employer after “contracting away” their employer obligations to a company that had no ability to ensure the worker’s safety on site.
The cost of a worker’s compensation policy varies and while some can be as high as 0.2% and as low as 0.1% (that’s zero point one percent; not 1%). Let’s consider 0.15% as an example. If you are on $100/hr the cost is 15 cents an hour.
The ACT is now arguably the safest workplace for contractors in Australia. So be aware of the cost in percentage terms applied to you and ensure you are safe in the workplace.