EMPLOYER OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
When dentists employ other dentists, they often try to use an independent contractor agreement. There is a lot of misinformation about what is necessary to ensure as an owner you are not deemed to have employed a dentist and then find you are up for Workcover and Superannuation or Unfair dismissal.
There are some simple rules to follow and things to avoid.
Various professions tell you that control is the sole determinant, but the law – mainly in the Fair Work Commission and the Federal Courts take a different view. Did you know that the same individual can be deemed an employee for the purposes of Workers compensation but not for Superannuation ?
It is important to
- not cut and paste other agreements
- not believe if you call it an independent contractor agreement that is is one (!)
- not to assume that the contract alone actually determines the status
- understand that behaviour and other conduct of employers and employees are also critical
If you do want to deem someone a contractor, then get proper advice about both the contract AND the way you relate to them. Preferably from someone with dental industry experience or at the very least a good commercial lawyer.
Otherwise it can be expensive.
January 31st 2014