ON Chiropractic Winter 2014 - Page 23

2014 OCA Annual Conference Saturday, October 25, 2014 Toronto, Ontario The Ontario Chiropractic Association’s professional development day. OCTOBER 25, 2014 Save the Date Human Resources ON Chiropractic Gui d an c e : Employee or Independent Contractor? A dding to your clinic team affords you the opportunity to create lasting and profitable relationships. Getting the parameters of those relationships right lays the foundation for a fruitful business relationship. David Mills, a partner at Mills & Mills LLP, believes that determining whether or not a new addition to your team will act as an independent contractor or as an employee of your business is a crucial first step. What is an Independent Contractor? Independent contractors work for themselves and provide contracted services to your business. This usually means that they are responsible for their own tax withholdings and will pay taxes on income from a business they have established. Independent contractors generally enjoy the deductibility benefits of a corporation and are not regulated under the Employment Standards Act. A bookkeeper serving multiple clients using their own facilities and determining their own work schedule is an example of an independent contractor you may retain. What is an Employee? An employee works directly for your business. They would pay income tax based on their employment income from you and have limited deductibility options at tax time. As the employer, you will be responsible for taking the appropriate withholdings from their pay, including income tax, and Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums. Employees’ rights are protected by the Employment Standards Act and other legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act. A Chiropractic Health Assistant who is paid an hourly wage and is managed directly by you is an example of an employee. When is an Associate an Employee? Determining whether or not an associate chiropractor or other health care practitioner you have brought into your practice is an employee or an independent contractor can be tricky. Your Associate is likely an Independent Contractor if he or she: • Sets their own hours, • Uses their own equipment, and, • S  pends most of their time seeing “their own” patients. Your Associate is likely an Employee if he or she: • W  orks on a schedule determined by you, • I  s an important and integral part of your practice, • Uses your equipment, and, • R  eceives set wages as all or a portion of their compensation. Contractor or Employee: Who Makes the Final Determination? Generally, the parties involved, such as you and an associate, will determine the most appropriate way to formalize your working arrangement. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the courts do have a say in the matter, however. Several “tests” have been developed to help employers and regulators make determinations about the status of an employee or contractor. These focus on issues such as the level of control you have over the individual in question, how integral they are to your business and whether or not their role in your business will be ongoing. CRA and the courts are likely to take elements from the various tests to make a final determination should such an action become necessary. How much control is exerted over the individual’s time, actions and responsibilities is often a dominant factor. Conclusion: There are pros and cons to having both independent contractors and employees working within your practice. As there is no definitive litmus test to determine whether or not an individual is an employee or a contractor, it is wise to consult a lawyer with experience in employment law matters. Making the incorrect choice can have a significant impact on your business. The OCA would like to thank Mills & Mills LLP for their assistance in the preparation of this article. For more information about Mills & Mills LLP, please visit www.chiropractic.on.ca/ affinity-program/legal.aspx www.chiropractic.on.ca ((