|GH 2017 New Zealand|
In New Zealand, the rights and responsibilities of employees and contractors are very different. An employee is someone who is employed to do work for reward under a contract for services (an employment agreement) and a contractor performs services under a contract for services (an independent contractor agreement).
Health and safety laws in New Zealand apply to both employees and contractors, but there are many differences. Employees have all the minimum employment rights under the Employment Relations Act 2000, the Minimum Wage Act 1983 and the Holidays Act 2003 as well as the right to take a personal grievance. Contractors on the other hand are self-employed and usually earn an income by invoicing for their services. They have to
pay their own tax, aren’t covered by most employment related laws. They do not have the right to bring a personal grievance.
This article focuses on the legal framework for differentiating employees from independent contractors, the re-characterization of the relationship and how to structure an independent contractor relationship.