Are you an employee or contractor?
We see many clients at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Porirua relating to questions about their work.
For example, they have not received a pay slip, are not sure about their annual leave entitlements or do not have an employment contract.
After talking to clients, we are finding that some people are contractors, not employees, and that therefore their rights are different. As an employee you: Have a ‘‘boss’’ who directs when, where and how you do your work.
Have your tools and safety gear provided to you.
Face discipline if you are late for work or do not carry out work required.
Have limited control on increasing your income by changing the work you do.
Have a written employment agreement.
Have paid annual leave, sick leave, and bereavement leave entitlements. As a contractor you: Control what jobs you do, and when and how you do them.
Take responsibility for paying your own tax and ACC levies.
Own, maintain, repair and replace your own tools, equipment, vehicles and safety gear.
Employ staff or sub-contract the jobs you have to do to other people.
Do not receive paid annual leave, sick leave and bereavement leave entitlements under the contract.
Why is this distinction important? If people are employees, they will have employee rights under the Employment Relations Act and other employment laws.
If a person is a self-employed contractor, then he or she will not be covered by the Employment Relations Act or some of the other employment laws, such as the Holidays Act 2003. There is more information available at cab.org.nz or dol.govt.nz/ workplace/knowledgebase/item/1328.