Independent contractors are often individuals in business for themselves. When this type of contractor has no employees, they are neither employers nor employees – they are self-employed. As a result, Saskatchewan Employment Standards do not apply.
If an employer contracts with a self-employed individual and treats that person as an employee, what was once a business to business contract can transform into employment relationship. Employment Standards will apply.
Contractor versus Employee
The more control an employer has over a contractor's work, the more likely an employer-employee relationship exists. For example, if in dealing with another business a contractor:
- Is assigned work, and is told when, where and how this work is done;
- Is supplied materials, tools, and equipment to perform the work; or
- Is otherwise integrated into the other business,
then there is a good chance that the contractor is legally the other business's employee.
In contrast, independent contractors:
- are in business for themselves;
- negotiate business to business contracts for how, when and where their work is performed;
- can contract work with multiple clients;
- provide their own tools, supplies and equipment; and
- risk their own capital, taking profits and losses.
The law in this area can be complex. Businesses may want to consult a lawyer for advice.