Contractor v Employee

Contractor v Employee

Knowing the difference between an employee and a contractor is fundamental. If you get it wrong the implications can be very costly.

Quick tips

What you should know:

  1. The law is changing – watch this space for updates. 
  2. Contractors can lodge a problem with the Employment Relations Authority for them to determine if they are a contractor or an employee. This is a gateway to knowing if they can raise a PG.
  3. If you wrongly engage with a contractor (instead of an employee) you will be liable for any holiday entitlements they have not received. 
  4. Employees can make a claim on their lost wages going back 6 years.  
  5. There are several tests to help you know the differences

So how do I tell them apart? 

The best thing you can do is to run through a checklist to ensure you’ve rightly engaged with a contractor/ or conversely an employee.  

The devil is in the detail – these following tests will help you determine who is an employee and who is a contractor within your workplace. 

The intention test

  • Has a contract for services been signed by both parties? 
  • Do both parties agree on the intention of the relationship?
  • The contractor will not be paid holiday pay.

The fundamental test

  • The contract will submit invoices.
  • The contractor can set their own rate.
  • The employer does not pay PAYE, ACC, or KiwiSaver.
  • The contractor can profit from their work.
  • The contractor should work for multiple clients.

The integration test

  • The contractor is not integral to the day to day running of the business.
  • The contractor provides and maintains their own tools and equipment.
  • The contractor does not need to wear a company uniform.

The control test

  • The contractor chooses their own days and hours they work. There may be times they are unavailable. 
  • The contractor has greater control over the work to be done.
  • The contractor is usually a specialist in their field and works autonomously. 

Free Checklist

Contact me for the latest checklist for free.