Employers have many legal obligations associated with their workers such as Pay As You Go instalments, payroll tax, WorkCover and superannuation payments. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) imposes penalties for employers who engage workers as contractors when they are really functioning as employees.
When engaging a contractor for work with a labour component, consideration must be given as to whether any of these obligations may apply. As we discussed in our previous post, it’s the substance of the relationship that is most important, not what you label it.
New Contractor Management Process
The University has implemented a Contractor Management process to ensure appropriate engagement of contractors. Under the process, prior to any contractor engagement, you must:
- Have the contractor complete the Contractor Questionnaire.
- If the contractor is an individual or sole trader, you must also complete the Contractor Assessment Tool.
- Once completed, email the Questionnaire (and Contractor Assessment Tool if applicable) to Finance and Procurement Services. The Finance and Procurement Service Support Officers will liaise with you about how to approach the engagement.
If the engagement is deemed an employment relationship, a HR employment contract will be required – note that this is always the case for teaching or related work including marking.
Where a genuine independent contractor arrangement is established, it must be evidenced in an appropriate agreement and recorded in the Contracts Register. The Consultancy Services Agreement template on the Legal & Risk website is available for use for this very purpose. This template can be used for most straight-forward consultancy engagements, and all you need to do is fill in the basic details. Guidelines for using the template are available on the website.