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You Make the Call—Employee or Independent Contractor?

One of the trickiest challenges faced by payroll is distinguishing between employees and independent contractors. Here’s a scenario illustrating the factors that apply in the context of determining whether employment is insurable for purposes of employment insurance (EI).
SITUATION
A pet grooming academy in Toronto hires a skilled and experienced dog groomer named Liza Apso. She signs an 18-month contract. The contract describes her as “an independent contractor” and says she’s “personally responsible for her own taxes.” The characterization of Liza as an independent contractor is repeated at least half a dozen times in the agreement. Liza works unsupervised and sets her own hours. She owns her own tools. But she does all her work in academy facilities using tubs, grooming tables, water and electricity the academy supplies. The clients belong to the academy, not her. Liza has no role in operating the business. She carries no insurance and does no advertising. She’s paid by the hour. ...

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