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  • What to do if you think you're an employee

    If you take a job as a contractor or there has been a change in your job description since starting, you can still work out if you should be an employee.

    Find out about what you can do if:

    • the job is described as contracting, but it looks more like being an employee
    • you have been a contractor, but the job changes and now you think you might be an employee.

    Your first step is to talk to the business to make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your working arrangement.

    If you have a written contract, it will contain your terms and conditions.

    Often a business that is asking workers to apply for an ABN simply doesn't understand the differences between contractors and employees. They might not know that they risk penalties for failing to treat their workers as employees. However, some employers use this as a deliberate tactic to try and avoid their responsibilities.

    You can also have a look at the information on the Fair Work Ombudsman website to help you understand:

    • more about working arrangements
    • how working arrangements affect you
    • your entitlements and responsibilities.

    If you sign a contract, consider whether you need to re-negotiate the terms and conditions. Getting legal advice can help you to understand what you are agreeing to and what you can or can't change. The fact that you have a written agreement doesn't necessarily make it legal for tax and super purposes.

    A business that wrongly treats its employees as contractors gets an unfair advantage over others who are doing the right thing. You can report this to us anonymously to help stop unfair business practices.

    Next steps:

    Last modified: 25 May 2021QC 43441