4 steps for managing your independent contractor risks

From inspire success – Rae Phillips provides excellent advice for engaging with independent contractors.  She writes:

1.  Consider the relationship 

Before engaging any independent contractors,you need to consider the type of relationship you want to create.

Ask yourself, why am I engaging this particular employee? What type of work will they be doing? What role are they filling? What gap are they plugging? How long do you need them for? Do I need someone with specialised skills or knowledge? And, can we do the work in-house?

2. Draft the contract carefully

It is critical that you get advice on what  the independent contractors contract should – and shouldn’t – contain.

The contract must reflect the relationship with the worker and the organisation and be clear about the expectations, roles, and interaction that they will have. It must also be clear that the worker is not a direct employee.

3. Know your obligations 

There are often obligations that apply to workers even though they’re not employees. For example, the work health and safety laws, which apply in all states bar WA and Victoria extend health and safety obligations beyond the traditional employee/employer relationships to all workers onsite.

4. Keep an eye on things 

When the work arrangements are in place, you must regularly check that the relationship is still the one you intended to create, and hasn’t changed over time.

Many of the issues we see in this situation is that the nature of the relationship changes over time, this could mean that you have an independent contractor working with you who can be deemed as an employee….”

The last bit of advice is particularly valuable.  Many times a relationship starts out as a legitimate independent contractor relationship but changes over time and evolves into a relationship that more closely resembles employer-employee than company-independent contractor.

Read the full story at  4 steps for managing your independent contractor risks.

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