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  3. Working as an Independent Contractor

How do I work as an independent contractor?

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.

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. As an Independent Contractor,  you are responsible for your superannuation. You can check out The Australian Tax Office’s guide to superannuation for the self employed for further advice and information; 

the need to have your own equipment. Even though as Social Carers, you don’t require equipment;

the need to have your own insurances. We’ve done the hard work and found insurance for you;

being responsible for if something goes wrong while you are providing your services to a 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 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.