​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself - LawAssist

Are you an employee or contractor?

You need to be an employee to make an unfair dismissal application. If you are an independent contractor you cannot apply.

Whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor depends on a number of things. If your contract says you are a contractor, this doesn't necessarily mean that you are.

Someone who is an independent contractor might:

  • supply their own tools or equipment
  • do work when and how they want
  • have their own workplace
  • contract the work out to someone else
  • spend some of their income on their own business expenses.

Someone who is an employee might:

  • be paid a regular wage or salary
  • have tax taken out of their pay by their employer
  • have paid holidays and sick leave
  • be told what hours they have to work, and where they have to work
  • be supplied with tools and equipment
  • fill out timesheets
  • have superannuation contributions paid by their employer
  • be covered for workers compensation by their employer.

Employers can't attempt to avoid (contract out of) the unfair dismissal protections. So an employer cannot:

  • tell a person who they intend to treat as an employee that they will be working as an independent contractor
  • sack an employee and rehire them as an independent contractor to do the same work
  • make a false statement to influence an employee to enter into a contract to do work that is the same as the work they were previously employed to do.

Alert Icon  Time limits apply when making an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission (the Commission). If you want to make an unfair dismissal application, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed. If you are not sure if you are an employee or a contractor, you should get legal advice​.

Case study - MeiCase study icon

Mei worked as a cleaner. She used her own equipment, which she transported in her own van, and cleaned various offices around the city. She got most of her work through Citywide Cleaning. Citywide Cleaning provided Mei with a list of offices to clean but left it up to Mei to decide in what order they needed to be done. Mei invoiced City Wide for her cleaning services.                  

Citywide Cleaning decided they no longer wanted Mei to clean offices because there had been some complaints about the quality of the cleaning. They sent her a letter saying that they would not be providing her with any more work.

Mei used her own equipment and performed the cleaning jobs at times she chose. She also invoiced City Wide for payment for the work she performed, and made arrangements to pay tax directly to the tax office. All of these factors suggest that Mei is probably a contractor, and not an employee.

Alert Icon  If you are not able to make an unfair dismissal application, you may still have rights under other laws. For example:

  • a general protections dismissal application
  • a discrimination claim (if you have been discriminated against at work)
  • a bullying claim (if you haven't been dismissed but you are experiencing workplace bullying).

You should get legal advice to help you understand your options.

For a handy guide to all the requirements you have to meet to make an unfair dismissal application, see Checklist: Making an unfair dismissal application.

For answers to commonly asked questions, see Can you apply? - Frequently asked questions.

 

 

Woman and man arguing in a cafe