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  • Writer's pictureSam Kuhn


If you’re an independent contractor, sole trader or sub-contractor who has been injured on the job in Queensland, you may be entitled to receive compensation.

There are approximately 1.1 million independent contractors or self-employed individuals in the Australian workforce. The fields of employment for those contractors are endless, however the Construction Industry holds the highest percentage of contract workers.

Keeping in mind the prevalence of risk in the construction industry, it is important to be aware of your entitlements as a contractor or sole trader if or when injury occurs.

Of course, injury can arise in any line of contracting work. So, no matter your occupation or specialisation, it is important to familiarise yourself with your rights for compensation.

Independent Contractor

An independent contractor is a self-employed individual who provides a service to or completes a job, typically for another business directly.

Independent contractors can set up their business as a sole trader or work in conjunction with other partners within a trust or company.


Where an independent contractor works directly with their clients, a sub-contractor will be hired by a contractor to complete a specific job as an extension of that contractor’s business.

The Rights of Contractors and Sole Traders

Both kinds of contractors respectively hold the right to work in a safe environment, alongside safe work practices and fair work inclusions.

Workers Compensation

You need to be considered a worker to be covered by a workers compensation policy held by a principal employer. When deciding upon your rights to compensation, it may be required for you to assess where you stand - are you considered a worker?

As defined in the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, a worker is a person who:

(a) works under a contract; and

(b) in relation to the work, is an employee for the purpose of assessment for PAYG withholding

Your access to workers compensation will vary depending on your methods of work, how much control you have over your work, and where you stand as a ‘worker’ under the Act.

The Next Step

If you’re unsure about your rights as a sole trader or contractor, you should seek advice from a qualified personal injury lawyer to further assist you in this process.

Further, if you’re currently suffering from injury and are unsure where you stand in the compensation scheme, it is advisable for you to obtain legal guidance as soon as you are able as there are time limits involved in bringing forth a claim.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Brisbane, Roma and Toowoomba

If you would like to discover more information about your rights to compensation, please follow the link below.


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