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Worker/Deemed Worker: An Update to the Turks Guide

  • Newsletter Article
  • Published 15.06.2022

In the Guide at page 5 we consider the definition of a worker for the purposes of Workers Compensation, and contrast that with the characteristics of an independent contractor. In the Guide we have used the conventional test for determining who would be a worker; also called ‘the control test’. That is, if the relationship between the parties gives an employer the power to exercise control over the work done by an employee, then the relationship is that of employer/employee.

The control test has been useful in the past, but, more recently the courts have emphasised the importance of any contract or other written agreement between the parties; which better identifies the legal nature of the arrangement.

In February 2022, the High Court determined two cases where the dispute involved the identification of an employer/employee relationship. These cases were discussed in the March 2022 edition of our Employers Liability Newsletter: High Court clarifies how to determine employee versus contractor relationship.

As noted in our March 2022 article, the recent High Court decisions highlight the importance of looking at the rights and duties established by any contracts between the relevant parties, and only refer to other indicia if the contractual documents require clarification of the context of the parties negotiations, or to remedy an obvious error.