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Contractors run their own business and sell their services to others, unlike employees who work in someone else’s business.

Contractors — sometimes called independent contractors, sub-contractors or subbies — generally use their own processes, tools and methods to complete the work. They can delegate or subcontract some of the work if they need to, and can work for different clients at the same time.

Contractors have workplace rights and protections but have different responsibilities relating to insurance, taxation and superannuation.

Understanding contracts

If you are a contractor, you should understand:

Differences between an employee and a contractor

Whether you are an employee or a contractor depends on many different factors. 

In general:

  • independent contractors work for themselves and are their own boss
  • employees work in someone else’s business – the business controls how, where and when they do their work, and pays them a wage

But you need to consider a range of factors when deciding whether someone is an employee or contractor. 

To help you decide:

If you’re still not sure, you should consider getting independent legal advice.


If you believe your employer is incorrectly treating you as a contractor

Contact the:

5 common employee or contractor myths busted

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