Are you sure your "Independent Contractors" are not "Employees"?

Written on the 11 November 2013

Two recent cases have highlighted how important the distinction between 'independent contractors' and 'employees' is:

  •  in one case, it was held that a plumbing business did not meet its superannuation guarantee obligations in respect of five of its plumbers that it had treated as independent contractors; and
  • in a case between a taxi driver and the owner of the taxi, the Fair Work Commission held that the relationship between them was one of employer/employee, and therefore the unfair dismissal laws applied to their relationship.

As a general proposition, an independent contractor provides personal services whilst working in and for his or her own business, whereas an employee provides personal services whilst working in the employer’s business.


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