Independent Contractors

Is your locum an employee or an independent contractor?

If you are unsure and want clarification the Australian Government has a series of free resources on its business resource website that will help clarify the situation.

Similarly, locum pharmacists seeking information about the issue can access information about their work status too. The first of these resources is a downloadable document – Independent Contractors the essential handbook. It says that you are an independent contractor if you:

  • are paid for results achieved
  • provide all or most of the necessary materials and equipment to complete the work
  • are free to delegate work to others
  • have freedom in the way you work
  • provide services to other businesses
  • are free to accept or refuse work
  • are in a position to make a profit or loss.

It emphasises that having an Australian Business Number (ABN) does not automatically make you an independent contractor.

Confused yet? Well to make things simpler the website also has a contractor decision tool where users work through a series of 16 questions based on indicators that have been considered by courts and provides a guide to help people  ‘understand the issues relevant to the distinction between an independent contractor and employee.

For employers it has resources such as Independent Contractors: contracts made simple.

Another useful website is the members website of Independent Contractors of Australia. It includes a checklist to assist in determining whether or not you are an independent contractor.