NEW LAW TURNS CONTRACTORS INTO EMPLOYEES

IR Changes affect Contractors

NEW LAW TURNS CONTRACTORS INTO EMPLOYEES

10 JULY 2000

Many self-employed Contractors could become Employees at Law without their knowledge if new legislation introduced into State Parliament is passed, Thomas George, Member for Lismore, has stated.

Mr George said the legislation, an amendment to the Industrial Relations Act, would allow a trade union to apply to the Industrial Relations Commission for an order classifying Contractors as Employees.

"Large numbers of people in Lismore Electorate are contractors," Mr George said.

These include tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers and electricians. It also includes computer consultants, casual gardeners, casual cleaners and virtually everyone who does work for others.

"Yet under the proposed law you would not be notified even that the application affecting you was before the court. You would simply be told once a decision was made. The Court would then set your wages and conditions regardless of any arrangements you might wish to make yourself.

"Once you are deemed an employee you might as well give up working for yourself. The Industrial Relations Commission (or the Trade Union that made the application) will be running your working life".

Mr George said that despite government denials the re-classification from contractors to employee could also have taxation and insurance implications for self-employed contractors.

"If you're an employee for one purpose then you can be held to be an employee for other purposes. Your taxation and insurance could be radically altered.

"No-one wants this law except the Trade Unions. They want it so they can get more members as their existing membership is declining sharply. Once you are an employee and turn up to do work the shop stewards can start asking for your union ticket," Mr George stated.

"The Coalition is opposed to the Bill and will seek to prevent its passing when it next comes before Parliament on 29 August 2000," Mr George concluded.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577