It was once said that Paul Keating, as Treasurer, wanted to make everyone an Independent Contractor as opposed to an employee.
The significant difference is that as an employee you are entitled to all the benefits which an employee has; super, sick and holiday leave and hours worked. As an Independent Contractor, these benefits you have to provide for yourself. With the end of the financial year fast approaching, it is worthwhile ensuring that you have received all of your entitlements.
Ask yourself, whether the amount of money you are charging or being paid is sufficient to provide for you to take time off work; be it for a holiday or due to sickness or having to care for someone else? Does the amount also allow you to put away some superannuation?
The responsibility for your welfare is with you. As an employee, these benefits or National Employment Standards are provided to you in exchange for you providing your labour. The DIFFERENCE lies in how you assess what you do and whether you are supplied with equipment or tools to do your job.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS LOOKING AT YOUR JOB AS A WHOLE.
There have been a number of instances where a person was on Commission only or had a contract stating that they are an independent contractor, when in fact they had been employees all along. There is no difference in whether the person has been with the organisation for 2 months or 20 years. If the status under which the person has undertaken the work IS INCORRECT, then this may add up to a considerable sum having to be paid TO THAT PERSON FOR LOST BENEFITS. Whether you are an employer or employee, be sure as to whether you have properly identified the role that you have undertaken.