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Table 1 Independent contractor or employee?

From: It’s not my fault although it might be: chiropractic practice and vicarious liability

Indicator Employee Independent contractor
Degree of control over work Performs work, under the or right of direction and control of their employer, on an ongoing basis Has a high level of control in how the work is done
Other employers. Employee works solely for the employer. [This generally refers to full-time employment – some employees may choose to work additional jobs]. Worker performs work for others or is genuinely entitled to do so.
Skill The work does not involve a profession, trade or distinct calling on the part of the employee. The work involves a profession, trade or distinct calling on the part of the worker.
Equipment Employer provides and maintains significant tools or equipment. Worker provides and maintains significant tools or equipment.
Hours of work Generally, works standard, set hours set by the employer with an ongoing expectation of continued work. Under agreement, the worker decides what hours to work to complete the specific task.
Payment Employee is paid by periodic wage or salary. Worker provides invoices after the completion of tasks.
Tax Employer deducts income tax from remuneration paid. Worker responsible for own tax affairs.
Benefits Employer provides paid holidays or sick leave to workers. Worker does not receive paid holidays or sick leave.
Termination Can be discharged at any time for ‘good cause’. Good cause can include things like poor work performance, violating company rules and threats of violence. May be terminated subject to the sub-standard or non-performance clauses in their contract.
Unfair dismissal claim. Can lodge an unfair dismissal claim. Cannot lodge an unfair dismissal claim.
Asset creation The worker of creates goodwill or saleable assets for the employer’s business. The worker creates goodwill or saleable assets for their own business.
Business expenses The employee does not spend a significant portion of their pay on business expenses. The worker spends a significant portion of their remuneration on business expenses.
  1. Source: Australian Fair Work Commission. https://www.fwc.gov.au/unfair-dismissals-benchbook/coverage/people-excluded/independent-contractors#_ftn17
  2. The table above is not exhaustive and whether a worker is an employee or contractor may be determined by a factor other than those listed