Self-Employed Contractors in Australia: Incidence and Characteristics

Staff research paper

Self-Employed Contractors in Australia: Incidence and Characteristics by Matthew Waite and Lou Will was released on 27 September 2001. The paper analyses the incidence of contractor-type employment and the characteristics of people working as contractors. It focuses on the group of employed persons known as independent contractors by Australian courts, as earners of personal services income by the Australian Tax Office and as self-employed contractors by researchers. Also see:

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Cover, Copyright, Contents, Acknowledgments, Abbreviations and explanations, Glossary, Key points

1 Introduction
1.1 Which contractors are the focus of this research?
1.2 The relevance of contracting to policy formation
1.3 Research questions addressed in this paper
1.4 Structure of the paper

2 Legal tests of employment status
2.1 Why is employment status debatable?
2.2 Employment law tests
2.3 Recent legal approaches to dependent contracting

3 Previous evidence on contracting
3.1 Contractors in regular ABS labour force data
3.2 Evidence on contracting from annual ABS surveys
3.3 Evidence from AWIRS
3.4 Evidence from other sources
3.5 Summary

4 FOES evidence on contracting
4.1 The Forms of Employment Survey (FOES)
4.2 Identification of self-employed contractors in the FOES
4.3 Identification of dependent contractors in the FOES
4.4 Which estimate is to be preferred?
4.5 Summary of dependent contractors in the FOES

5 Characteristics of self-employed contractors

5.1 Bivariate analysis of the characteristics of self-employed contractors
5.2 Multivariate analysis of dependent versus independent contractors

6 Conclusions


A Employment types in ABS data

B Multivariate results