/ Hiring an in-home care or support worker

Is my in-home carer an employee or independent contractor?

The first thing you need to think about when hiring an in-home carer is the type of relationship you are entering into with the carer. An in-home carer can be either an employee or independent contractor. Usually, a carer will tell you if they are an independent contractor. Sometimes you won’t be sure. It is important to work this out, as it will affect things such as whether the carer is entitled to leave and who is responsible for paying tax (you or the carer).

There is no one factor that will determine whether a carer is an independent contractor or employee. Rather there are a number of things that together will help you work out if the carer is an independent contractor or employee.

We’ve briefly summarised some of these indicators below. We’ve only included the ones that are relevant to doing in-home care work. For more information visit fairwork.gov.au.

Still not sure? There is a great online tool to help you work out if someone is an independent contractor or employee. Click here to use it.

Employee Independent Contractor
Employer deducts tax for employee Pays their own tax and GST
Has leave entitlements, e.g. sick leave, annual leave No leave entitlements
Paid regularly e.g weekly/fortnightly Has an ABN and submits invoices for work completed
Generally works set or standard hours per week Decides what hours to work to complete the specific task
Superannuation contributions paid into their nominated superannuation fund by their employer Generally pay their own superannuation contributions ( in some circumstances the employer will make these contributions
Has expectation of ongoing work . In some circumstances this will be for a specific period or task Usually engaged for a specific task
Performs work under the direction and control of an employer Has a high level of control over how work is done.

If your in-home carer is an independent contractor, check out the independent contractor’s handbook. This useful guide will help you understand your relationship with the contractor.

The carers on the Careseeker's database are both independent contractors and looking to become employees.