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May 07, 2021

Question from Christine Field ([email protected])

Hi, can you please advise what type of contract to use for one off 3 hour hires. For example, someone engaged to undertake taste testing for a period of 3 hours only. Possibly never engaged again or rarely engaged. Thanks

Hi Christine,

It is beyond the scope of the Help Desk to advise you as to the type of contract you should use to engage someone for work.  Moreover, an assessment as to what contract should be used in a certain scenario requires more information.

Generally speaking, however, casual contracts are most appropriate when a business is seeking to employ a person with no firm advance commitment to an ongoing, agreed pattern of work.  Employment under a casual contract operates as a series of individual engagements, where each engagement involves a separate period of employment that starts at the beginning of, and ends at the conclusion of, each shift.

Alternatively, if the individual(s) that you are seeking to engage conduct their own trade or business providing the services that you seek, an independent contractor agreement might be better suited to your needs.   You may be subject to penalties and back-payment of employee entitlements if you wrongly characterise an employee as a contractor, so you should consider seeking advice if there is uncertainty.

For more information on how casual employment contracts work, I recommend that you refer to the “Casual Employment” resources in the Portner Handbook.  For more information about independent contractors, please refer to the “Independent Contractor” section.

Otherwise, if you are seeking specific advice or assistance, Hannah Dunai, Senior Associate at Holding Redlich is available on a commercial basis at [email protected]

Kind regards,

Matthew Gough

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