What does it mean to work as an Independent Contractor?

Being a Social Carer means that you are providing your services directly to Like Family members as a contractor. As a contractor, you are self-employed. Thus, you run and take charge of your own business.

Being a Social Carer means that you are providing your services directly to Like Family members as a contractor. 

An independent contractor is different from being an employee. There are a few things you need to know. Even if you have been a contractor elsewhere you should take the time to take a refresher. 

We have created this as a guide to help Social Carers manage their obligations as a contractor. Further information and resources are available from Self Employed Australia which is an association for contractors. 

If you are unsure what business structure you have please follow this link for more information: https://www.business.gov.au/planning/business-structures-and-types. Generally, most Social Carers provide their services as a sole trader. 

Please note this guide is NOT legal accounting or tax advice and is only designed to alert you to things you need to be considering as a contractor. Advice to help people like you is readily available in most suburbs from accountants, tax agents, and lawyers.

What does it mean to be a contractor?

This includes:

  • the risk of not having a steady income. Focus on building good relationships with our members as they are in charge of using your services;
  • not having the benefit of sick leave, paid holiday leave and other entitlements employees have. Simply change the availability on your profile if you can’t work.
  • the need to make your own arrangements for superannuation contributions;
  • the need to have your own equipment. As a Social Carer, an example of using your own equipment includes having a suitable device to access the Like Family platform to apply for activities and create and complete bookings.
  • the need to have your own insurance. While Social Carers are covered by Like Family's Public Liability policy, you may wish to take out additional insurance for further protection;
  • being responsible for if something goes wrong while you are providing your services to an Like Family member (whether that results in an injury to you or the member).
  • You have the flexibility with your work and can decide your own schedule, which clients you want to work with and the location of your work.
  • You also have the flexibility to decide what you wear while performing your services.

What happens if I get injured or sick?

Like Family does not cover you for workers’ compensation insurance but we do offer Social Carers group personal accident and sickness which can cover you for loss of salary due to an injury or sickness. 

We strongly recommend that you consider whether you need to purchase personal accident and illness insurance to cover you if you are unable to work as a result of injury or sickness.

As a contractor, you do not accrue sick days, paid holiday leave or other employee entitlements. You are responsible for organising and funding your own holiday and sick leave. 

You should account for sick days and holiday leave when you are planning your work schedule and budget. 

Do I need to invoice members myself?

Ordinarily, you would send the invoice directly to the member. However, since our members may have complicated government funding requirements, we take care of all this for you. 

We do this on your behalf as part of the platform services. We also collect the money from the member on your behalf and deposit the fees less our platform fees directly into your bank account. 

You can view your invoices on the Social Carer Dashboard when you log into your account. 

How can I protect myself as an independent contractor?

It's useful to record information about every booking you do in case a Member or Support Coordinator has any queries or complaints about what took place. You can do this by:

  • writing effective booking notes that cover: what support that was provided, the events that took place during the booking, and what your Member achieved.
  • uploading photos from your booking (only upload photos of your Member if they have given consent)
  • keeping physical copies of movie/event tickets and uploading photos of these as part of your booking notes