Employment Status: Employer, Independent Contractor Or Dependent Contractor?

Many employees are not technically employees but "contractors." The difference in what they do at work may be insignificant. The difference in how they are treated can be huge.

You may not know whether you are an employee or independent contractor, or you may have been told that by being a contractor, you will have more freedom. You should know that as a contractor:

  • You, not your employer, must take responsibility for CPP and EI payments.
  • You are normally not covered by employer-funded benefit plans.
  • You will not be covered by the Employment Standards Act, which gives employees protection in areas such as hours of work, overtime, vacation pay and severance and termination pay.
  • Your employer does not have to give you reasonable notice of termination, which provides notice of when your job will end or payment in the place of notice.

When Is A Contractor Not A Contractor?

Being considered a contractor is appropriate in many circumstances, such as when you are in charge of your own hours, or can set your own wages, or are employed (or potentially employed) by several different employers.

If you are none of these, but are only being called a contractor in order to cut costs by your employer, you have options. At Vey Willetts LLP, our lawyers can discuss them with you.

For example, the courts know that some employers declare employees to be independent contractors for their own advantage, even though they are essentially employees. They have decided that another category of employee exists: dependent contractors who are dependent on their employers and economically vulnerable. The courts look at:

  • Which party has control of the relationship
  • Which party has the chance for profit or risk of loss
  • Whether the party is integrated into the business

If you are found to be a dependent contractor, you will be given the same protections as an employee for reasonable notice and CPP and EI.

Our lawyers can help you determine your status, and fight for the protections you deserve.

Employment and Labour Laws are not always straightforward, but whether you are an employee or an employer, understanding your rights and duties will only stand to benefit you. Reach out to an employment lawyer or labour lawyer today if you have any questions and be sure to get what you deserve and safeguard yourself for the future. The lawyers at Vey Willetts LLP have a proven track record and are happy to assist.  

Our employment lawyers and labour lawyers serve clients throughout Ontario. 

Call us today at 1-800-296-7989 or fill out our online form.