A number of specific provisions enacted by the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005 (Cth) will liberate employers to engage their staff as independent contractors if they choose to do so. Following the amendments, effective since 27 March 2006, The Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) explicitly clarifies that industrial awards cannot contain any clause restricting employers’ choice to engage as many staff as they wish as contractors, nor impose any restrictions on the conditions that can be applied to their engagement. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that some employers have already begun to engage more of their staff as contractors as a consequence of these changes, however at this stage is it too early to determine trends. This paper explores these issues in greater detail.
Labor and Employment Law
Date of this Version
Joellen Riley, "Employees or Contractors? Engaging Staff Following Work Choices, and in the Light of the Proposed Independent Contractors Legislation" (August 2007). University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series. Working Paper 57.