This is not an easy question to answer. In fact, even if you have an agreement calling you, say, an independent contractor, the Court might find, after hearing the facts and legal arguments, that, in all the circumstances, you are an employee.
- works in someone elses company for wages or salary
- the company pays the employee's PAYE
- the employee receives holiday pay, sick leave, bereavement leave etc.
- the employee is not allowed to work for someone else without express permission of the company
- is fully integrated into the company's business
- is under the control of the company
- invoices the company for his/her services
- pays his/her own income tax
- may be registered for GST
- takes the risks and profits as a business owner
- has a degree of autonomy from the company
There are advantages and disadvantages to being an employee or an independent contractor. Essentially, an employee is entitled to all the protections of the Employment Relations Act (such as the right to be treated fairly, the right to sue for personal grievance etc). An independent contractor is, in law, in business on their own so the only protections they have are the ones they have negotiated for themselves. The independent contractor is able to claim back business expenses and is able to work for more than one company without the permission of each of them.
For Legal and Strategic Advice Regarding Independent Contractors and Employees Pick Up The Phone and Talk to Workplace Law
I can offer free initial advice during the day, and after hours, to help you make sense of your situation.
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