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What to do if you think you're an employee

Work out if you're an employee even if you take a job as a contractor or your job description changes since starting.

Last updated 14 June 2023

What you can do

Some businesses and business owners might not know that they risk penalties for incorrectly treating their employees as contractors.However, some employers use this as a deliberate tactic to try and avoid their responsibilities.

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.

You can follow the steps below to 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.

Steps you can take

  1. Talk to the business (employer) to make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your working arrangement.
  2. Check the terms and conditions in your written contract (if you have one).
  3. Ask your employer to read Employee or contractor - what's the difference – often a business that is asking workers to apply for an ABN simply doesn't understand the differences.

Additional support you can access

You can have a look at the information on the Fair Work Ombudsman websiteExternal Link 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 adviceExternal Link can help you to understand what you are agreeing to and what you can or can't change. Even if you have a written agreement, it doesn't necessarily make it legal for tax and super purposes.