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Plumbers were full-time casuals, not contractors

The AAT has found that individuals working for a plumbing business were employees of the business and that the business was required to pay superannuation contributions.

The business argued that the workers were independent contractors and that there was no superannuation requirement.

After reviewing the individuals' relationship with the business, the AAT decided the workers were full-time casuals paid on an hourly rate and not eligible for holiday or sick leave.

The AAT considered various factors, including that the individuals all had the same contract (with the same terms) with the business. The AAT said one would expect independent contractors to have differing terms, but the fact that their contracts were the same was "extraordinary".

Another key factor was that the hourly rates charged by the workers to customers were largely set by the business. Overall, the AAT concluded that the workers were employees and affirmed the requirement to pay superannuation.

Over recent years these latter two factors have been given lesser importance, in the cases.

The law continues to be quite blurred, with decisions now based on a scorecard of “for/against” approach with “degree of control” remaining one of the key questions.

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