What defines a self-employed person?

A self-employed person is an independent contractor who runs their own business. Self-employed people are not entitled to the statutory employment protection rights that apply to workers or employees.

The model for use when contracting with a self-employed person should be a standard contract for the provision of services and terms indicating employment such as sickness, holiday and discipline should not be included. The person should not be referred to as an employee, and should be paid a fee (based on the submission of invoices), and not a wage.

An individual's employment status can ultimately be determined only by a court or tribunal on the basis of the facts of the case. The reality of the situation and the true agreement of the parties are key. Factors indicating that individuals are self-employed include that they:

  • have control over what work they do and how they do it;
  • can delegate the work to someone else, rather than being required to do it in person;
  • are responsible for providing their own equipment; and
  • can work for more than one client.