This information resource is for private sector employees in Western Australia. It is general information only and not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. By using the information on this page, you agree to our full disclaimer.

There are two systems of employment law in Western Australia: a state system and a national system. While this information resource is suitable for both state system employees and national system employees, it will help you to know which system of employment law you are covered by. If you are unsure, please see our publication: Q&A: State or national for WA employees.


Quick Summary 

Employees and contractors are both workers, but they do not have the same rights. There are a lot of rights and entitlements that only employees have. There are also many legal claims that you can only make if you are an employee.

Sometimes, people are told that they are contractors, but they are actually employees. If you have been incorrectly labelled a contractor, then you may be able to take legal action and be paid for the rights and extra entitlements that you may have missed out on.

The test for figuring out if you are an employee or contractor is quite complicated. It might be that you can only figure out which one you are more likely to be, and depending on your issue, you may need legal advice.

If you are told when to work and how to work, you are paid by the hour and you are provided with all your equipment, then you are probably an employee. If you can choose when you work and how you work, you provide an invoice when you have finished a job and you provide your own equipment, then you are probably a contractor.