*The contents in this blog relates to legislation in South Australia.

If you suffer a work-related injury, the legal status of your business will have an impact on whether you are covered under the workers compensation scheme.

In order to lodge a workers compensation claim, you must be a “worker” for the purposes of the Return to Work Act 2014 (SA) (“the Act”).  While there are certain exceptions, a worker is a person by whom work is done under a contract of service.

Read more about one of these exceptions here: Self-Employed Workers: Building Work Exception

Partnerships & Contract of Service

The term “contract of service” is defined as a contract under which 1 person (the worker) is employed by another (the employer).

A partnership is not recognised as a separate legal entity from the partners (unlike a company) and this means that:

  1. the partnership cannot employ the partners; and
  2. the partners cannot contract with each other.

As a partner in a partnership, while your workers may be covered, you personally will be unlikely to meet the definition of a “worker”.

What do I do if I have an industrial deafness, but I run my business as a Partnership?

Under the Act, your industrial deafness arises from the last employment which has exposed you to noise capable of causing noise induced hearing loss.

At Turner Freeman, we will fully investigate your claim and obtain your relevant employment documents to identify the last noisy employment for which you took a wage. We can give you extensive advice as to whether you have an entitlement to claim for employment prior to the commencement of your partnership.

It is best to seek legal advice about your specific circumstances, and Turner Freeman will provide you with advice and investigate your claim on a no win no fee basis.

If you wish to discuss your entitlements with our specialist hearing loss lawyers, please contact our office on 08 8213 1000 for a no obligation discussion.