Home' OsteoLife : Spring 2013 Contents www.osteopathy.org.au
Australian Osteopathic Association 23
Members are encouraged to contact
the AOA HR Service on 1300 143 602
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to confidentially discuss any workplace
situation with an advisor. Alternatively,
members can log onto the AOA
website (ww w.osteopathy.org.au),
enter the members area and click on
'HR Resource Library' under the 'For
As an independent
contractor, you may need
to register for GST if your
service is subject to GST.
You will need to check GST
requirements with the ATO
or your accountant. Although
osteopathic treatment is GST
free, your services as a contractor
to a business are not.
PERSONAL SERVICES INCOME
The PSI rules affect some expenses
you can claim as tax deductions
dependent upon the entity of your
business (e.g. sole trader, partnership,
company or trust). The ATO website tells
you how to determine whether your
income in classed as PSI.
VOLUNTARY WITHHOLDING TAX
ARRANGEMENTS WITH YOUR HIRER
To simplify the administration of your
taxation, the ATO may often allow you
to enter into a voluntary agreement with
the business hiring you that will enable
the hirer to withhold tax for you.
Payroll tax is state-based, paid by
employers. Some state/territory payroll
tax laws may define wages to include
payments to independent contractors.
AND THE COMMON LAW
Courts have a set of legal principles
surrounding independent contractors
under the Independent Contractors
Act 2006. Dependent on the matter,
the courts will rely upon the relevant
independent contractor legislation,
state or federal industrial laws,
broader workplace laws (such as WHS
and workers compensation) and a
number of other factors of the working
arrangement, including the specific terms
and conditions under which the work is
performed, to determine the status of a
person as an independent contractor or
It is important to take into consideration
the state/territory laws that you work in.
In a court of law, IP created by an
independent contractor is considered the
property of the independent contractor,
unless stated otherwise in your contract.
Therefore, the aspect of IP ownership
should be covered in your contract.
Disputes can arise between an
independent contractor and their hirer.
Website www.business.gov.au outlines
steps to assist you in resolving disputes and
sustaining your business relationship (enter
'dispute resolution' in the search bar).
The AOA HR Service can provide you with
an independent contractor's agreement
template. This article provides you with
general information only, and should be
checked before agreeing to your contract.
The Independent Contractors Act 2006
defines an unfair contract as one where a
person performs work on terms that are
'harsh' or 'unfair'. If you are covered by
the Act, you may be able to seek remedies
for an unfair contract dispute under the
Commonwealth unfair contracts system.
The courts will take into consideration
the following when deciding if the
contract is unfair or harsh:
• the terms of the contract when
it was made;
• the bargaining strengths of the
parties to the contract;
• whether any undue infuence
or pressure was exerted upon,
or any unfair tactics were used
against, a party to the contract;
• whether the contract provides
total remuneration that is or is likely
to be less than that of an employee
performing similar work; and
• any other relevant matters.
The Fair Work Act 2009 protects genuine
employees from 'sham' contracting
arrangements where an employer
deliberately disguises an 'employment'
relationship as an independent
contracting arrangement whereby the
worker misses out on some entitlements.
Courts may impose injunctions and
maximum penalties of $51,000 per
sham contracting arrangements, or
where an employer seeks (or threatens)
to dismiss an employee for the purpose
of engaging them as an independent
Editor's note: New changes to the
Health Professionals and Support
Services Award, handed down by the
Fair Work Commission, are available on
the AOA website via www.osteopathy.
org.au/hr.php. These include changes to
junior rates of pay and annual leave for
shift workers •••
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