Employee or Contractor: ERA’s Perspective I

Understanding Employment Contracts: Navigating the Complexities of Employment Relationships

At MK Law, we specialise in clarifying the often-confusing aspects of employment relationships. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, understanding the distinction between a ‘Contract for Services’ and a ‘Contract of Service’ is crucial.

What is a Contract for Services?

A Contract for Services typically definesmeaning of employee the relationship between a business and an independent contractor. Unlike traditional employment, an independent contractor operates under their own business, providing specific services to the hiring company. They enjoy autonomy in how they perform their work and often have multiple clients.

What is a Contract of Service?

A Contract of Service, on the other hand, establishes an employer-employee relationship. This type of contract means the employee is integrated into the company, usually working under the company’s control and direction. This kind of employment offers more security but less flexibility compared to independent contracting.

Employee or Independent Contractor: Why Does It Matter?

The distinction between an employee and an independent contractor is more than just terminology. It affects crucial aspects like tax obligations, employment rights, and benefits. Employees are typically entitled to employment standards protections, such as minimum wage, holiday pay, and sick leave, which are not available to independent contractors.

Case Study: Independent Contractor or Employee?

meaning of employeeA key case we handled at MK Law involved determining a worker’s status in a painting company. Despite the worker’s claims of being an employee, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) found he was an independent contractor. This decision was influenced by:

  • The worker’s operation through his company.
  • The nature of the job advertisement, indicating a contractor role.
  • The actual working relationship, which lacked the typical control seen in employment.

This case underscores the importance of real working conditions and the intentions of both parties in defining employment status.

Why Choose MK Law?

Our expertise goes beyond just legal knowledge. We understand the practical implications of employment law on businesses and individuals. We strive to:

  • Provide clarity in complex legal scenarios.
  • Tailor our services to suit individual client needs.
  • Keep our clients informed and empowered in their employment decisions.


For comprehensive legal assistance in employment law, contact us for a consultation. With MK Law, navigate the complexities of employment law with confidence and compliance.