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Your cleaner has a fall and wants compensation – a timely warning

Household Workers – Insurance is Compulsory

Many people do not know that if they employ a household worker in their home it is compulsory to take out a Household Workers’ Insurance Policy. WorkCover Queensland‘s Household Workers’ Insurance policy costs $50 for a two-year term with the current period of insurance running from 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2020. This policy covers the homeowner against potential compensation costs if the person is injured while working for you.

Who are household workers?

Household workers include cleaners, nannies, baby sitters, gardeners, handymen and in-home carers. Individual sole trader contractors with ABN’s operating their own business may also be classed as household workers.

Which policy? Household workers or Accident insurance?

A holiday home is considered a private dwelling provided it is not a rental property.

Workers engaged by tenants of a rental property can be covered under a Household Workers’ insurance policy. Landlords who engage workers for their rental property are not covered under a Household Workers’ insurance policy and must take out an Accident Insurance policy.
An Accident Insurance Policy is also recommended for homeowners who let out part of their house short term to the public regardless of whether they are living at the property or not.

Workcover Queensland

In Queensland, household or domestic worker insurance policies can only be obtained through WorkCover Queensland. In Queensland, home and contents policies do not cover people you employ around your home, they only cover visitors to your home.

What about working from home?

Some people use a part of their house or grounds to conduct business activities, such as photography, architectural or drafting services, beauty services, counselling or therapy services, and farming or other rural enterprises. These work areas are not regarded as a private dwelling as they are not used solely as a domestic residence so workers in these areas would not be regarded as Household Workers.

Operating a business from home does not exclude you from having a Household Workers’ insurance policy. However workers must be paid to work in the private dwelling only, and not in the business. A worker employed wholly or partly in connection with a business is not classed as a household worker and the employer must insure them under an Accident Insurance policy.


Legal help available

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Please note that this article has been prepared by Margaret Miller, partner of Bell Legal Group, for information purposes only. It is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as such.