Qld Govt should lead the way on workers comp with equal rights for gig workers

20th May 2024

The Queensland Government should lead the way nationally and extend workers’ compensation rights to gig workers, the Australian Lawyers Alliance told a government committee today at the hearing for the inquiry into the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024.

“Gig workers in Queensland are currently not equal under the law when it comes to workers’ compensation rights and there is no tangible reason why this ought to be the case,” said Sarah Grace, Queensland President, Australian Lawyers Alliance.

“Queenslanders have the strongest workers’ compensation scheme in Australia and should continue to lead the way nationally with our scheme. Queensland gig workers should not have to wait for federal laws to be changed before they can access their state workers compensation rights.

“Relying on the Fair Work Act provisions as a ‘bridge’ to the Queensland legislative rights is severely inadequate.”

The ALA provided a submission to the Education, Employment, Training and Skills Committee, Queensland Parliament as it considers the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 (Qld).

“As well as providing support to workers, amending Queensland’s legislation now will ‘level the playing field’ for employers who are doing the right thing and providing a safe and regulated workplace,” said Ms Grace.

“We are confident that including gig workers in Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme will not compromise the scheme’s sustainability or affordability.

“Some employers offer optional insurance coverage to gig workers currently but this falls far short of that provided by the workers’ compensation scheme in Queensland. Gig workers are missing out on vital rights and that’s simply not fair.”

Tags: Queensland Workers compensation