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A legal loophole that left a man unable to access workers’ compensation despite losing his leg in a workplace accident will be amended by proposed new legislation.
Workplace Relations minister David O’Byrne, under pressure from union delegates, yesterday revealed the new laws, which address the issue of “sham contractors”.
Glenorchy man Anthony Young was denied workers’ compensation after a workplace accident at K&D Brickworks at New Town resulted resulted in the loss of his leg.
Mr Young was working for two years at brickworks but was technically contracted with a contracting company.
In July Mr Young was unsuccessful in his appeal for workers’ compensation after the Court of Appeal in Hobart sided with an earlier decision that he was an independent contractor — not a worker, and therefore not entitled to workers’ compensation.
Mr O’Byrne said the amendments to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 would render workers’ compensation rights to anyone on a sham contract.
“They extend the definition of ‘worker’ to ensure anyone on a sham contract has the same workers’ compensation rights as people on traditional contracts,” the minister said.
The new laws are currently facing debate and review.
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