The Government has recently published the Protection of Employment (Measures to Counter False Self-Employment) Bill 2018.
The purpose of the Bill according to the draft is to declare the relationship between employer and employee to be a status relationship, to declare the question whether an individual is an employee or is self-employed to be a question of law to be independently determined, to provide that the description given by the parties shall not be conclusive in determining the true status of an employment relationship, to provide protection for persons who are retained to carry out work and are incorrectly not designated as employees, to take certain measures to counter the misrepresentation of the status of employees as if they were working under a contract for services rather than a contract of service, and to provide for related matters.
Where a dispute arises as to whether an employment relationship exists, this can be referred to the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission whose decision will do one or more of the following:
(a) declare that an employment relationship exists or, as the case may be, does not exist,
(b) require an employer to take a specified course of action (including making any necessary adjustment to the employee’s terms and conditions of employment, or to tax and social insurance arrangements made by the employer in relation to the employee), or
(c) require an employer to pay to the employee compensation of such amount (if any) as is just and equitable having regard to all the circumstances but not exceeding 2 years remuneration in respect of the employee’s employment.
We will keep you updated on further developments in relation to the Bill.