Outsourcing household chores

Too many tasks and not enough time? The answer could be domestic outsourcing.
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02.Your rights when outsourcing


What are your rights when outsourcing?

Regardless of what service you’re using, you’re within your rights to ask for a repair, replacement or refund if it was not up to scratch. In other words, if the work you paid for:

  • was done carelessly
  • wasn’t completed
  • was done by a person without the necessary skills for the job
  • wasn’t in line with what you asked for (for example, you asked a handyperson to install a dog door but it’s too small for your dog to get through)
  • didn’t give you the results you asked for (you asked for your windows to be cleaned, but they dried streaky)
  • wasn’t completed within a reasonable timeframe (if you didn’t ask for the job to be completed by a certain date)

then, under the Australian Consumer Law, you’ve got the right to complain.

The first thing to do is approach the business or provider directly, explaining why you are unhappy with the service and what you’d like them to do about it. If the person you’re dealing with won’t help you, ask to speak to someone in a position of greater authority – such as the manager.

If you don’t get any joy from them, it’s time to call the ACCC on 1300 302 502, or get in touch with the consumer protection agency in your state.


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What about your responsibilities?

If you’re employing people to provide domestic help, such as cleaners, handypersons or even assistants, most states require you to have Domestic Workers Compensation Insurance. Call WorkCover in your state or territory to check whether you need it, how to arrange this and what you can expect to pay. You might also want to take out public liability insurance to cover yourself in case a worker has an accident on your property.  

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