Independent contractors

An independent contractor is someone who is self-employed and provides services to clients. It is also known as subcontracting or contracting.


Jake is a plumber who is hired by a business to fix a burst pipe. Jake goes to the business with his own tools and employees and fixes the pipe, then invoices the business for the cost of the job.

Jake isn’t an employee of the business - he’s an independent contractor who’s hiring his services out to the business.

Am I a contractor or an employee?

Telling the difference between independent contractors and employees isn’t always easy.

It’s important to know whether you’re an independent contractor or an employee so you can be sure you’re getting the right entitlements.

For more information, see Contractor or employee?

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Page last updated: 25 Sep 2012