• Domestic painting example

    This example shows the differences between an employee and contractor in domestic painting.

    Clarissa is an employee

    Vince is a contractor

    A domestic painter, Clarissa, works for a painting business on an ongoing basis. The business has told Clarissa she will be painting the interior of home units at a local retirement village for the next four weeks.

    A domestic painter, Vince, has been engaged by a local retirement village to paint the interior of some of their home units.

    Control over the work
    Clarissa is required to be at the retirement village from 8.00am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Each morning the business instructs her about what work she will carry out that day.

    Employee characteristic – the painting business has control over the work.

    Control over the work
    Based on their agreement, Vince is responsible for preparing, priming and painting all interior walls of the specified home units in the colour shade the retirement village has requested. The retirement village requires Vince to complete the work during 5 January to 4 February (during specific hours), but Vince can choose how the work is undertaken.

    Contractor characteristic – Vince has freedom in the way the work is done, subject to the specific terms in the agreement.

    Ability to subcontract/delegate
    Clarissa has been hired by the business to do painting work and needs to personally perform the work requested of her.

    Employee characteristic – Clarissa cannot subcontract/delegate the work.

    Ability to subcontract/delegate
    Vince does not need to complete the work himself. He has an apprentice who will help in completing the work on the retirement village. Vince pays the apprentice weekly for the hours he works.

    Contractor characteristic – Vince can subcontract/delegate the work.

    Basis of payment
    Clarissa is paid an hourly rate for the time she works each week.

    Employee characteristic – Clarissa is paid for the time worked.

    Basis of payment
    Vince will be paid the amount he quoted to paint the interior of the home units once the work is completed to the required standards and timeframe.

    Contractor characteristic – Vince is paid for a specific result based on the quote he provided.

    Equipment, tools and other assets
    Clarissa uses the painting business's tools, equipment and materials.

    She drives her own ute to and from the worksite each day. The painting business requires Clarissa to have her own transport.

    Employee characteristic – the painting business provides the equipment, tools and assets required to complete the work. The ute is not being used to perform the work.

    Equipment, tools and other assets
    As specified in the agreement, Vince is required to provide the tools, equipment and materials required to complete the job.

    Contractor characteristic – Vince provides the equipment, tools and assets required to complete the work.

    Commercial risks
    If Clarissa does a substandard job, the painting business is responsible for the work completed. The business will tell Clarissa to fix the problem, but she will:

    • do the work during her standard working hours and the painting business will pay her for those hours
    • use the painting business's equipment, tools and materials to rectify the poor workmanship.

    Employee characteristic – Clarissa takes no commercial risks.

    Commercial risks
    If the standard of work does not meet the required standards, Vince will need to rectify the poor workmanship at his own cost.

    Contractor characteristic – Vince takes commercial risks.

    Clarissa works on an ongoing basis for the painting business and must do any painting work they request.

    Employee characteristic – Clarissa is not operating independently of the painting business.

    Vince regularly advertises his services and has several painting jobs booked in after the work at the retirement village is completed. If the retirement village needs further work done, he can choose whether he completes the work (depending on what other jobs are booked at the time).

    Contractor characteristic – Vince is operating his own business independently of the retirement village.

    See also:

    Last modified: 22 Feb 2016QC 33197