We have a consultant who occasionally uses our premises for work and has asked if she can hire a personal assistant (PA) under her own ABN to sit at her desk 1 day per week in our office, using her laptop. This person will purely be doing work for the consultant.
Is there was any risk associated with this? If we were to tell the consultant and her PA they could no longer use our premises due to a seating shortage, would there be any risk to us?
You will have an obligation to maintain a healthy and safe working environment for the PA and the consultant while they are at your business premises. Other than this, the PA is the consultant’s employee, and the consultant will need to take responsibility for the PA in relation to all other entitlements and liabilities.
The risks associated with denying the consultant/PA a seat would depend on the terms of your agreement with the consultant and whether this was contemplated at the outset. Generally there is no obligation for a principal to provide tools or equipment – or, in this case, office space – for a consultant/contractor. The exception is where you have expressly agreed to this in the terms of your agreement.