Preparing For the Next Level

There are thousands of young people on the autism spectrum enrolled in colleges and universities around the world. With such a formidable representation, it is encouraging to know institutions of higher learning are committed to providing programs that support and nurture students on the spectrum. Additionally, a number of schools have developed programs exclusively devoted to the educational and social needs of these students. With such strong support from fellow students, as well as educational institutions, there is ostensibly a lot on the line. In fact, we could even say the promise of the future being fulfilled lies in the hands of the young autistic men and women within the hallowed halls of higher learning. Our society is becoming increasingly more tolerant towards those with physical and developmental disabilities, however there is much room for improvement in this area. The reality is simple – we need young adults on the spectrum, just as they need us to show them the way. Granted, they have some social deficits, along with mannerisms that can be difficult to grasp, but the unique talents they offer employers are unparalleled.

The future job market will require well educated employees in order to compete in the global market place. Some analysts are predicting we could see this shift starting to take place as soon as 2020, when three out of five new jobs created will require some type of college training. That means, at minimal, completing a certificate program at the college level will be a necessity for those entering the job market to ensure sufficient wages. While importing talent was once a viable option for many corporations, advances in technology now has countries around the world desiring the same gifted minds. This is where the future autistic employee enters the picture. We now realize many young adults on the autism spectrum are capable of performing complex job related tasks with the addition of work support efforts and job coaching, when necessary. The ultimate goal of having a self-reliant and independent labor force has not changed, but how we arrive at that point has. Implementing work place support programs are crucial to our national security and competitive edge in the 21ST century for several very important reasons.

First, as mentioned, every country wants the best and brightest minds to help grow their economies. The sharpest minds are frequently found within the autism spectrum, thus making this population fertile ground for corporate recruiters. Moreover, ingenuity and creativity will continue to come from members of the private sector in environments where thinking outside the box is not only permitted, but encouraged. Next, there has been a decline in the number of births in developed countries worldwide. For employers, there are fewer potential workers to fill key positions – this position is only exacerbated by the millions of baby boomers either retiring or reducing their work schedules to part-time or consultant basis. We are approaching the point of needing all available workers, especially those who are young and seeking white collar professional careers.

Circumstances indeed favor those on the autism spectrum with regards to employment outlook and future opportunities. Finally, economic sustainability is a major consideration as autistic workers start their careers. Given our growing commitment to retirees, pension funds, and social services, the contributions special needs employees will provide society are extremely critical. The economic impact of purchases and taxes from workers on the spectrum are too important to view lightly. Moving forward, we must provide supportive employment opportunities for the autistic community as they march towards adulthood and independence. This is a decision that puts companies in a position to maximize human capital, while allowing autistic adults to live up to their full capacity.

10 Fun Jobs You Wish You Had

Getting a good job for a lot of people is just a matter of finding a job with the right salary and the right benefits. Choosing one of the 10 fun jobs or more is going to be a luxury for a lot of people.

1. Testing Water Slides: Water slides require quality control just like everything else. The people who are responsible for actually controlling that quality are more or less paid to test water slides for a living.

2. People Who Write Guidebooks: The guidebooks that help other people on their journeys are written by people who were paid to travel to those locations first. These are adventurous individuals who pave the way for others and have a great time doing it.

3. Un-exploded Ordinance Technician: People who get paid to reduce the threat of un-exploded objects in certain areas more or less also get paid to set off explosions. They get paid six-figure salaries for this task, making it a good job in the sense of it being entertaining and well-compensated.

4. Snuggling for a Living: The mental health benefits of non-sexual touching are quite well-documented. However, not everyone has a partner available for that sort of non-sexual touching, and not all partners are going to be available all the time for that non-sexual touching anyway. People can now hire people to snuggle them.

5. Looking after the Great Barrier Reef: The Great Barrier Reef is a habitat that is under attack. Naturally, it could use a house-sitter. The opportunity to house-sit the Great Barrier Reef comes with a huge salary and the opportunity to more or less go on vacation at the same time.

6. Making Chocolate for a Living: There are people who more or less do craft chocolate for a living. These people are practically artisans, and their medium of choice is chocolate.

7. Tagging Content for Netflix: The tags that help people find the content that they want on Netflix are created by people who were specifically employed to accomplish that one task. This is an exclusive position, but it is a position that allows people to get paid to watch television.

8. Voice Actors: While some voice actors would disagree, they do get many of the benefits of being actors with none of the drawbacks. Many of them have job security that other actors don’t have, and they don’t have to concern themselves with their appearance as much. They also don’t have to deal with the drawbacks of being famous.

9. Gum Tester: Before gum is actually put on the market, it needs to be tested by actual people first. These people are actually experts in gum in one way or another, but they also do genuinely get paid to essentially chew gum for most of their jobs.

10. People Who Are Paid to Sleep: Many of these people simply participate in sleep studies for a living. Other professional sleepers get paid to test hotel beds and other types of beds. Either way, they are paid to sleep all day long.

Exciting Benefits of Online Jobs

Are you tired and fed up with travelling every day? Are you allergic to huge traffic jams? Do you think that the system of 9-6 is not fit for you? Do you hate the pesky boss in your office? If the answer is yes, then online jobs will be the best alternative job that will cater your needs. Most of you by now are aware of an online job and its different perks. These jobs today are highly favored due to the different benefits that it offers. In fact the total number of people that are working online has surged of late. Changes in the pattern of work and the economic turmoil have made such jobs a popular pick among people. No wonder there is no dearth in the availability of such jobs pertaining to various expertise and skills set.

Explore the many benefits of jobs online

Online jobs basically are jobs that you can do from the comfort of your home. In fact, an interesting trend which has been noticed lately is that working professionals too are considering these jobs from home as a quick and easy means to earn a good sum of money. These jobs are ideal for professionals, recent mothers and also students. All you need is a PC/Laptop and a reliable and speedy internet connection. The many benefits of opting for these jobs are as follows,

• No work pressure – the biggest plus of doing jobs online is that your work pressure will be relatively low compared to the usual 9 hour job.

• Higher flexibility – Such jobs offer higher flexibility with respect to time. This way, you possess the freedom of scheduling your working hours, which means you possess the time of attaining your personal obligations too.

• You will be your own boss – To work without a boss actually is a fantasy of the majority. The best part is that you will be your own boss. What more can you ask for in a job?

• Work for different clients – Here you have the flexibility of working with different clients which will increase your earnings for sure.

• The choice to try different jobs – another big plus of opting for jobs online is that you can experiment with different types of jobs. For instance, if you feel that your work is becoming monotonous you have the choice to switch over to another job.

Different job options

When it comes to an online job you can try your hand in the following,

• Part time blogging
• Online teaching
• Web jobs
• Logo designing
• Survey jobs
• Freelance writing

Apart from the aforementioned types, there are many more options when it comes to jobs online that you can consider. Such jobs do not demand much higher education qualification as well as can be performed easily. And akin to other jobs, these also need discipline and dedication for making the utmost of it. Hope this article cleared all your negative doubts regarding working online.

Types of Nurse Practitioners and Salaries

Crisis Department Nurse Practitioner ($103,722)

Emergency division medical experts work in the quick paced setting of the ER treating patients of all ages. These Nurse Practitioners (NP’s) approaches with different levels of recognition and along these lines from time to time require experience before finding a work in this division.

Neonatal NP ($99,810)

NNP’s watch over both full-term and pre-term babies and infants who are very sick. As a NNP, one must have the capacity to work in high stretch circumstances overseeing both the patient and family. Most neonatal medical attendant professional projects require no less than two years of RN experience prior to applying.

Retail Health NP ($96,800)

Retail Health is a growing sector and attendant specialists in this field are paid in like manner. Nurse practitioners here treat minor sicknesses and wounds. Numerous retail facilities are considering offering interminable health administration sooner rather than later. NP’s in this field must have the capacity to work freely as they generally hone solo at their facility locales.

Healing Centre Based NP ($96,124)

Hospitals are utilizing attendant experts in expanding numbers to oversee conceded patients. Medical caretaker professionals in the clinic setting analyze, oversee and make treatment anticipates patients all through their healing centre sit tight.

Gerontology Nurse Practitioner ($94,485)

Gerontology attendant experts survey, oversee and treat both intense and perpetual therapeutic conditions to the elderly. Most medical attendant specialists in this field are absorbed by nursing homes and helped living centres to offer care to their occupants.

House Call Nurse Practitioner ($93,785)

As a consequence of new Medicare enactment, doctor’s facilities and autonomous medicinal services companies are right now employing attendant specialists in gigantic numbers to make house calls. These visits are essentially for homebound patients or patients as of late discharged from the healing facility. NP’s look to ensure patients are agreeable with their treatment regimen and location concerns or intricacies that may arise to keep patients from being re-admitted to the doctor’s facility.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner ($92,396)

Psychiatric NP’s gives intense and ceaseless care to people and families influenced by mental maladjustment. NP’s in this field can oversee emotional instability with pharmacotherapy and techniques like emergency mediation and case management.

Surgical Nurse Practitioner ($91,023)

Surgical medical attendant specialists help doctors in surgical operations. For instance, taking after a surgery, the medical caretaker specialist might be requested to suture a surgical injury. NP’s may likewise see surgical patients at post-operation visits and round on them amid their clinic stay tending to any complexities.

Oncology Nurse Practitioner ($90,862)

Oncology medical attendant professionals are in charge of overseeing treatment of different cancer diseases as a team with a physician and also tending to survivorship and health issues. This profession can be sincerely burdening.

Cardiology Nurse Practitioner ($90,370)

Cardiology NP’s analyze, oversee and attend to heart conditions, for example, arrhythmias and CHF. These NP’s help patients roll out fundamental way of life improvements endorse pharmaceuticals and oversee recuperation after heart surgery.

Reporting Self-Employment Income

There is oftentimes a thin line of distinction between a common-law employee and an independent contractor, and this distinction determines how you report income on your tax return. This article aims to clarify the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor, and in so doing, also aims to ensure that you gain a thorough understanding of how self-employment income is reported on your tax return, as opposed to how wages are reported.

Self-Employment Income vs. Income from Employment

First, we must make the very important distinction between a common-law employee, an independent contractor, and a self-employed individual.

Common law employees
A common-law employee is a person who performs regular services for an employer, with the employer having the right to control and direct the results of the work, and the way in which it is done. For example, the employer: (a) provides the employee’s tools, materials, and workplace, and (b) can fire the employee. The employer withholds tax from an employee’s wages, and the employee reports wages directly on Form 1040, on line 7.

Independent contractors
Unlike an employee, an independent contractor does not work regularly for an employer, but works as and when required. Independent contractors are usually paid on a freelance basis. An organization engaged in a trade or business that pays more than $600 to an independent contractor in one year, is required to report this to the IRS as well as to the independent contractor, using Form 1099-MISC. Independent contractors do not have income taxes withheld from their pay as regular employees do. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work, and not what will be done and how it will be done. Independent contractors report their income initially on Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business, or Schedule C-EZ,Net Profit From Businesses, then on Form 1040, line 12.

Self-employed individuals
A self-employed taxpayer is an individual who is in business for himself or herself, and whose business is not incorporated. You are considered self-employed if the following apply to you:

  • You carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor.
  • You are an independent contractor.
  • You are a member of a partnership.
  • You are in business for yourself in any other way.

An activity qualifies as a business if your primary purpose for engaging in it is for income and profit, and you are involved in the activity with continuity and regularity. An activity generally qualifies to be a business if you have made profits for three years out of the last five years.

If you operate a business, you must report the income even if no reporting document (1099s) is received. You are a sole proprietor if you alone own a business, and the business is not incorporated. If you are an independent contractor, you are actually a sole proprietor.

Self-employment income includes the following:

  • Income from sole proprietorship and non-employee compensation.
  • Corporate director’s fees.
  • Partnership income from a partnership operating a business (unless you are a limited partner).
  • Guaranteed payments from a partnership (including limited partners).
  • Bartering income.
  • Real estate rent, if received as a real estate dealer.
  • Income paid to retired insurance agents based on commissions received prior to retirement.
  • Newspaper vendor’s income, if vendor is 18 or over.
  • Interest received in a trade or business.
  • Net earnings of members of the clergy (unless taken a vow of poverty).
  • Gains or losses by a dealer in options and commodities.
  • A professional fiduciary who administers a deceased person’s estate.

The following income is not considered self-employment income:

  • Shareholder’s share of an S corporation’s taxable income.
  • Fees received for services performed as a notary public.

You must file a tax return if your net earnings from self-employment are at least $400.

Statutory employees
A distinction must also be made between a self-employed individual and a statutory employee. A statutory employee is a person who is deemed to be an employee by statute. He/she is treated partly as being self-employed, and partly as an employee. Consequently, a statutory employee is: (a) treated as an employee for Social Security and Medicare purposes, and (b) treated as being self-employed for income tax purposes.

An employer should indicate on the worker’s Form W-2 (box 13), whether the worker is classified as a statutory employee. Statutory employees report their wages, income, and allowable expenses on Schedule C or C-EZ. Statutory employees are not liable for self-employment tax, because their employers must treat them as employees for Social Security and Medicare tax purposes, and withhold these amounts.

Hobby income
A hobby is not considered a business because its activities are not carried on primarily to make a profit. If you earned income from a hobby, you must report that income on line 21 (Other Income) of Form 1040. You may report hobby expenses (but only up to the amount of hobby income) as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A, if you itemize deductions. If you do not itemize you cannot claim hobby expenses.

Reporting Self-Employment Activities

You report your income and expenses from self-employment on Schedule C, or Schedule C-EZ.

You may be eligible to use Schedule C-EZ, which is an abbreviated version of Schedule C, if you have a profit from your business, and:

  • Your expenses are not greater than $5,000.
  • You have no employees.
  • You have no inventory.
  • You are not claiming depreciation, or claiming the business use of home deduction.

Your net earnings (or loss) as figured on Schedule C, or your net earnings from Schedule C-EZ, are entered on line 12 of Form 1040. If you own more than one business, you must complete a separate Schedule C or C-EZ for each business. (Note that you cannot use Schedule C-EZ if you have a loss from your business.)

The 7 Traits of the Transparent Employer Workplace

Employer Branding has taken on greater importance to Human Resources professionals over the past several years as talented job seekers exercise greater discretion in choosing their future employers. The information age has not only made it easier for consumers to research products before they buy, but also for job seekers to research companies before they apply. The best workers are no longer willing to just accept a job at face value. They will use the internet and social media to find out about a company’s workplace from current and former employees. Companies can no longer exaggerate claims about their employer value proposition on their websites, at presentations, or during interviews. Today’s job seekers will use their social networks to quickly verify a company’s claims. No longer can a recruiter or hiring manager simply “sell” only the good aspects of the job or workplace without being questioned by job seekers who want to know how the company is addressing the bad aspects.

For decades, companies have expected and required that job seekers be transparent during the application and interview process. Companies do not mince words when they state that any employment offer is contingent upon successful completion of a background check. It has always been assumed that the potential employee is the only one with the inclination to exaggerate their accomplishments – or flat out lie. For some reason, companies have not been held to the same standard by which they hold job seekers. Job seekers expect companies to be candid about their work environment as well as the duties of the job description. It should be an accepted practice that candidates receiving job offers give employers a document stating that their acceptance of an offer or continued employment is contingent upon a successful background check of the companies’ workplace and job description. Shouldn’t background checks be a two-way street? Many companies embellish job descriptions, career opportunities, and the workplace environment in order to lure top candidates to apply but are not held accountable for any major discrepancies of their claims.

The gap in expectations between job seekers and companies calls for greater transparency from companies regarding their workplace. This includes all of the key metrics used to measure how companies manage, develop, and treat their employees. Social media has already laid bare many of the barriers keeping job seekers from validating whether or not a future employer is being transparent. Even companies have taken advantage of social media to do “inexpensive” background checks on potential employees. Therefore, unflattering information posted online about both job seekers and companies can greatly influence the outcome of the recruitment process. Companies need to produce transparent metrics that objectively measure the statements they make on their websites and during talent acquisition processes. This will allow job seekers to make informed decisions based on objective data. It will also place greater emphasis on a company’s ability to optimize the statistics used to measure their workplace environment. The metrics will be clearly stated in the number of highly qualified applicants and the retention rate of high performance employees.

Workplace Advertising

Great Expectations

The majority of companies do not provide measurable data that corroborates their “sales” pitch to potential employees as a great place to work. While external surveys that measure a company’s employer brand are useful for a company, the prospective candidate or the pending employee has little factual data on an employer’s workplace to analyze prior to accepting a job. Companies exasperate this problem by not being more transparent and sharing the actual internal data of key employer and workplace metrics. In the social media age this is a dangerous practice that could lead to higher recruitment and retention costs. Companies are far more transparent in their annual reports than they are in their workplace reports. Potential investors have loads of quantitative data to pore over; replete with plans and strategies to address pending challenges and future aspirations. But the same does not hold true for potential employees seeking the best work environments in which to invest their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Gaps in workplace expectations are created at the usual point of origin which is the company’s website. If companies promote and “sell” aspects of their workplace that they really do not value, then they are setting up an expectations gap with potential employees. Information on a company’s website is akin to the information that job seekers put on their rsums in that they are both expected to be truthful and transparent. When information on either of these representations of the company and the job seeker are found to be untrue then both parties will suffer penalties. In the case of the job seeker, he can expect that he will be excluded from further consideration of employment. In the case of the company, it can expect that the job seeker will exclude it from further consideration. In the worse case, a talented new-hire quits the company after a few months because of a company’s workplace misrepresentation. Fifteen years ago an incident of this nature would not get publicized in a way that would affect a company’s employer brand – but things are different in the current social media age.

Social Media Validation

Today’s social media explosion ensures that companies must pay attention to how they treat job seekers throughout the entire lifecycle of the recruitment process and beyond. It has never been easier for job seekers to do thorough background checks on companies that include talking to former employees on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, school alumni networks, etc.) and reading online employer reviews on Glassdoor and Jobitorial. Just as companies analyze rsums and do thorough background checks on potential employees, likewise do the savvy job seekers on the company’s employer brand. And while most companies focus on the known talent acquisition metrics as a measure of success, the metric that should concern them most is the one that cannot be measured – the number of high potential candidates who do not apply (or accept a job offer) because of negative reviews made on social media sites. We no longer live in the time of “Buyer Beware” but the time of “Buyer Aware”.

There was a time when the owner of a poorly designed car could only complain to his own personal network. Now, this same car owner can complain to millions by posting his user experience on any number of online car review sites.

Looking at the example of how social media has transformed consumer purchases of products and services, companies must beware the effects that current and former employees can have on their employer brands. Sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, and CNET list large numbers of products that are reviewed and rated by consumers. Sites such as Expedia and Trip Advisor allow consumers to rate their hotel and travel experience. The amount of negative comments listed for any particular product or service can have dire consequences on its future sales and reputation due to the speed at which information travels on the social network. Once word of a product flaw or service failure spreads across the social network it is hard for a company to undo the damage. A company’s employer brand is now evaluated the same way with potential candidates having access to more and more information about a company’s workplace than ever before.

Employee Sentiment

It has always been accepted practice for an employer to do background checks on a prospective employee before finalizing a hire. In the past, background checks were a one-way street and the only way you could know about a company was to read its brochures and talk to its recruiters. Nowadays, the internet and social media have made it easier for prospective candidates to bypass company-produced information and go straight to the people who will tell them the raw facts – former employees. If there is too much inconsistency between what a company’s propaganda and recruiters say versus what former employees say then there is cause for concern. This can have a negative effect on the attraction, hiring, productivity, and retention of new hires. Furthermore if the company’s current employees are not actively championing the employer brand or referring potential talent to managers then a company could soon find itself having higher recruitment costs along the value chain of the talent acquisition process.

Social media have ushered in a new era of culture change that starts from the bottom up. Disillusioned current and former employees have the ability to affect a company’s bottom line beyond its ability to attract highly-productive job seekers. The companies who have mechanisms in place to detect workplace issues that affect productivity will be successful, while those that do not will face ever rising costs to attract and retain talent. A culture of transparency will help to reduce many of the issues that produce negative employee sentiment in a company’s workplace. Oftentimes it is the problems that are not openly discussed that are the greatest threat to a workplace environment. Today’s job seekers have grown up in an era of increased calls for transparency in government, academia, and corporations. Employees are stakeholders in their company’s success and want to work in an environment that values their contribution. When management and employees work together to improve their workplace for the good of the business then it is a win-win. Managing employee sentiment is a business strategy that will pay dividends in a company’s employer brand value.

7 Workplace Transparency Traits

Below are the 7 workplace traits that employers should quantify and make objectively transparent to prospective job seekers and current employees. For each trait, companies should make every effort to list comparative data dating back to the previous 3 years at a minimum. Job seekers and employees alike want to be able to measure their company’s progress towards addressing issues that limit productivity.

1. Employee Engagement Reports (EER)

The surveys that measure employee engagement go by many names including “Organizational Health Surveys”, “Global People Surveys”, and “Voice of the Employee”. It is understandable that a company with a low overall engagement score will not want to publish this information on their website. But at the same time, this is the very reason why new recruits feel misled after experiencing a less than stellar work environment. A company experiencing high turnover of high productivity workers should work hard to address any issues in its workplace practices. Many companies do not publish any metrics from their EER. Some only publish the percentage of their workforce that completed the survey. For the surveys to have any validity there must be a 100% participation rate. Otherwise, an 80% completion rate could be interpreted as the remaining 20% being “disengaged employees” by default.

It is important that a job seeker know whether or not he’ll be working in a functional or dysfunctional workplace. The transparent companies must not only publish one EER metric, but they should publish the results of the key questions and scores that would most affect a job seeker’s decision to apply. At a minimum, the survey results to the following questions should be listed:

  • Would employees refer the company to potential candidates?
  • How do their employees feel about the company’s direction?
  • How do their employees feel about the company’s leaders?
  • How do their employees feel about the company’s people practices?
  • How do their employees feel about their own career prospects?

2. Work-Life Benefits (WLB)

Work-Life Benefits are very important to all employees regardless of their age. It entails creating practices that facilitate flexibility in working hours to incorporating the life changes of an employee in ways that maximize productivity. Many companies state that they observe work-life balance issues. But it seems that most companies offer work-life benefits grudgingly as if only to keep up with their competitors. It can become clear very quickly to a new-hire if a company truly values work-life balance. It is easy to observe the workplace cultures that frown upon employees who request a flexible schedule, sabbatical, or leave of absence – or that covertly punish employees who requests time off to care for a child or elderly relative. Companies that invest in work-life benefits and have strategies to manage their effects on business outcomes will be the winners in the bid to attract and retain high-performance workers.

The transparent company should publish more than just broad and appealing statements about WLB’s. They should publish the key metrics that prove that those benefits are encouraged and supported by the company. At a minimum the following questions and accompanying metrics should be published:

  • What is the annual number of employees requesting time off for childcare or elderly care?
  • What is the annual number of employees requesting flexible work schedules versus how many requests are actually granted?
  • What is the annual number of employees requesting telecommuting work schedules versus how many requests are actually granted?
  • What is the annual number of employees requesting sabbaticals and leaves of absence versus how many of those requests are granted?
  • What is the annual number of exempt employees who state by survey that they feel pressure to work past normal working hours?

3. Volunteering and Social Investments (VSI)

Corporate Social Responsibility has been viewed with greater importance for multiple stakeholders during the past decade. It is no longer just for investors and government regulators, but also for job seekers and employees. Companies have seized on this phenomenon to not only attract and retain Gen-Y recruits but also to build their brands and businesses in the communities in which they operate. What started out as philanthropy from the corporate coffers has transformed into a powerful force for social change and development. While companies tout on their websites all the organizations they support and how many volunteer hours per year they contribute to various causes, what doesn’t get clearly communicated is how employee volunteer activities are valued, promoted, and supported by the company. It is also not always clear how a company’s social investments are aligned with its business or values. Companies that make social investments purely for tax purposes or for compliance reasons risk diminishing their authenticity and employer brand. Job seekers who are active in volunteer activities and community programs can quickly discover whether or not it is promoted and valued in the employer’s workplace.

The transparent company should show the connection between company-supported volunteer activities and career enhancement/advancement. Instead of showing cumulative annual volunteer hours and financial investment in various organizations, data to the following questions should be published:

  • What is the annual number of employees at each level of the company who volunteer?
  • What is the annual number of employees requesting company support for volunteer activities versus those who are actually granted support?
  • What is the annual number of employee volunteers who receive company support (financial, time off, facilities, etc.)?
  • What is the annual number of employee volunteers (and volunteer hours) supporting company-sponsored organizations?
  • What is the performance management rating of employees who volunteer for at least 3 years versus those who did not during that same time period?

4. Career Mobility and Development (CMD)

Career Mobility and Development are important factors that many of the top job seekers take into consideration when evaluating potential employers. Mobility has taken on a broader definition in the global economy and now includes geographic mobility in addition to inter and intra-company mobility. Some companies have programs that allow employees to do short-term assignments with selected suppliers or service providers. Employee development includes both formal training and performance management discussions. Training and development of employees is essential to a company’s continued competitiveness. Most companies publish the number of formal training hours per year or the number of employees receiving formal training per year. Some even publish the number and percentage of employees working internationally as well as the percentage of employees receiving formal performance management discussions. But these metrics do little to prove to a job seeker that a company values mobility and development. Job seekers who value mobility and development won’t be patient with companies that don’t have clear policies on giving high-achieving employees the best opportunities.

The transparent company should show a clear link between development, performance, and mobility. Instead of showing the general number of training hours and number of employees working internationally that don’t target any specific employee segments; data to the following questions should be published:

  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees who request international assignments versus the employees who actually receive international assignments?
  • What is the annual number of employees at various grade levels who work internationally?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees receiving performance management reviews?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees who improved their performance over their prior year’s review?
  • What is the annual number of employees receiving formal training that was identified during performance management discussions?

5. Diversity and Inclusion (DAI)

Diversity & Inclusion practices have greatly changed in form and function since they first became part of the corporate lexicon. A company’s ability to integrate the various generations, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientation, education, experiences, ideas, personalities, lifestyles, and other unique attributes can significantly impact its bottom line as well as employer brand. The vast majority of large companies have DAI programs. However, they fail to give any meaningful metrics on their DAI programs that would be useful to prospective job seekers. Most limit their DAI metrics to the number of women and disabled employees hired. What doesn’t get communicated in a measurable way is how a company’s complete definition of a diverse workforce is distributed throughout the workplace.

Job seekers expect a workplace where they are able to interact with diverse people in an environment where they can maximize their unique attributes. At a minimum, the transparent company should publish the metrics that validate their definitions of diversity and inclusion by publishing data to the following questions:

  • What is the annual number and percentage of people representing different age groups across various management levels?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of women and ethnic minorities across various management levels?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees who state they are able to contribute their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the workplace?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees who say they feel pressure to conform to a corporate identity when they enter the workplace?
  • What are the annual metrics used by the company to show the results and impacts of specific programs that promote and leverage an inclusive workplace?

6. Web 2.0 Technologies (W2T)

With the ubiquity of social media, companies need to find ways to integrate the power of these collaborative technologies into their workplace practices. In the beginning of the social media boom most companies sought to block these technologies on their intranets for fear of diminished worker productivity. Time has proven that to be a huge mistake and many companies have embraced these technologies and upgraded their own internal intranets to include social media-styled collaboration between their employees. A lot of companies publicize that they have collaborative work environments but very few actually encourage and make use of collaborative technologies accessible by their entire workforce. If a company’s intranet has not been upgraded with Web 2.0, then it will be apparent to potential employees (and current ones) that the company is behind the technological curve. Job seekers (especially early career job seekers) are accustomed to communicating with their online social networks distributed across many countries. And this habit won’t vanish after they become an employee.

It’s important that job seekers know whether or not their prospective workplace utilizes Web 2.0 technologies. For many job seekers, their ability to maximize their performance is based on their access to their personal and professional social networks. At a minimum, the transparent company should publish the metrics that validate their embrace and strategic use of W2T’s by publishing data to the following questions:

  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees who are actively using the company’s Web 2.0 technologies?
  • What is the annual number of employee groups, discussions, connections, voip communications, file shares, and wikis on the W2T intranet?
  • What is the survey results rating how useful the company’s W2T is to employees’ jobs?
  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees at each management level who actively W2T?
  • What are the annual metrics showing how a company measures the business impact of its Web 2.0 network?

7. Rewards and Recognition (RAR)

Many companies realize the benefits of recognizing employees who perform exceptional work and duly publish their reward and recognition programs on their websites. Most only publish that they recognize high achievers or the name of specific rewards available. Having formal programs can motivate employees to perform at a high level and nurture a performance-based culture. Many early career job seekers in the professional world have been accustomed to competing for individual and team accolades since their youth. They expect to work with companies that recognize their achievements with more than just a bonus check or salary increases because peer recognition is just as valued. Companies that only pay lip service to rewards and recognition programs risk alienating or losing high achievers.

Job seekers that desire to be recognized for their above-average contributions in the workplace need to know whether or not a company values RAR. The transparent company should show more than just a list of RAR programs. At a minimum, data to the following questions should be published:

  • What is the annual number and percentage of employees receiving RAR at different status levels in the company?
  • What are the metrics showing the number and percentage of RAR recipients across diversity (including geographic location, department, etc.) measures?
  • What are the metrics showing how RAR programs are integrated into the performance management process?
  • What are the metrics that measure employees’ evaluation of RAR as a retention tool?
  • What is the performance management rating of employees who received RAR for at least 3 years versus those who did not during that same time period?


Workplace Transparency will play a key role in a company’s ability to win the war for talent. A company’s workplace transparency strategy supports its Employer Brand Strategy. As the top job seekers become more discerning in their employer selections, the companies that provide objective and quantifiable workplace data will be positioned to offer an employer value proposition targeted to the unique needs of diverse job seekers and employees.

A company’s survival will depend upon its ability to make full use of its employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities in a way that supports strategic plans and goals. Companies that have a workplace transparencystrategy will be able to:

1) Address the metrics honestly and discuss plans to improve (or maintain) them.

2) Allow job seekers to see where the company falls short (or scores well) and adjust their expectations accordingly.

3) Attract job seekers who bring solutions to address specific workplace issues (or who value specific workplace practices).

4) Defend themselves against negative employer reviews on social media by showing their plans and strategies to address workplace challenges.

Companies that are transparent with their workplace metrics show job seekers their openness and willingness to accept feedback and criticism. Employers expect job seekers to be open and transparent during the recruitment process and job seekers expect the same courtesy. There are no winners when there is a poor match between the employee and employer. Besides the negative feelings from both parties, there is also the ripple effect of damage to employee morale, loss productivity, and high turnover among many others. It is a far better value proposition for employers to provide the same level of transparency in the key workplace traits that job seekers and current employees value. When companies treat job seekers and employees with the same level of importance as they treat stock market investors, they can expect to receive higher than average returns on their human capital investments.

Employment Contracts and Your Business

It is common practice for employers to enter into agreements with their employees to commence an employer and employee relationship. Agreements are commonly put into writing by the employer incorporating terms, which both the employer and employee mutually agree with at the outset as a standard form or negotiated terms between the parties. Surprisingly there are many employers who enter into verbal agreements with employees and do not finalise the terms of employment into written form, or an employment contract.

Over time a business’ operations and employee’s responsibilities may change, however these changes fail to be incorporated into verbal or written contracts. This often leaves employers and employees exposed to uncertainty and potentially legal exposure.

Written employment contracts allow for the terms of employment to be clear and unambiguous to ensure both parties are aware and understand their responsibilities, duties and obligations under the agreement from the commencement of employment until it is either amended or terminated. These contracts are known as common law employment contracts.

Common law employment contracts are not “industrial instruments” unlike Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), Awards and Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards (NAPSAs).

A common law employment contract can operate simultaneously with an AWA, however employers need to bear in mind that common law contracts cannot undercut the terms of an industrial instrument.

If you use common law contracts in your business it is imperative that you ensure all the terms or any relevant industrial instrument are carefully observed.

A restraint of trade clause seeks to impose limitations or restrictions on an employees’ conduct after they leave employment. Restraints of trade clauses are intended to protect an employer’s legitimate business interests and goodwill. There will always be two competing interests, an employees’ freedom to earn a living against the need of an employer to protect its legitimate business interest.

Employers need to bear in mind that restraint of trade clauses will only be valid if they are reasonable under relevant Restraints of Trade Legislation in each state and territory. In New South Wales; what is reasonable under the Restraints of Trade Legislation 1976 (NSW) will depend on factors including:

The subject matter of the restraint.
The time and area of its operation.
The nature of the employer’s business and the industry in which the employer operates.
The relationship of the employee to the employer’s clients and customers.
The nature of the work performed by the employee.

A properly drafted restraint of trade clause in an employment contract for an employee is an effective tool to protect an employer’s legitimate interests and is capable of enforcement where it can be established that an employee deliberately copied customer lists or business records before leaving employment and did so with the intent to compete against their employer. An employee can be restrained from continuing to engage in conduct in breach of their obligations under an employment contract and damages may be awarded to the employer in particular circumstances.

Restraint clauses can be a useful means of protecting legitimate business interests however employers should consider that determining the correct scope and application of valid restraint clauses is often complex and difficult and legal advice should be sought.

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How to Get Finance With Unusual Employment

An increasing number of people are choosing flexible working opportunities with their employers, as it enables them to successfully combine both their lifestyle arrangements and their family commitments.

However, many have found that when it comes to visiting their local bank branches while looking for a home loan, car and truck loan or even equipment finance, their local bank is still apprehensive towards them. And, it is because of their irregular working hours:

1. They don’t seem to fit into the strict lending guidelines set out by banks; and

2. They are not seen by banks as holding down a stable job with a regular income.

What the Common Unusual Employment Types?

Here are some of the common unusual employment types:

1. PAYG (pay-as- you- go) contractors

2. Casual workers

3. Part-time workers

4. Self-employed individuals

5. Sub-contractors

6. People with other forms of income

Type 1 – PAYG Contractors

PAYG contractors are normally employed via an agency or directly via their employer. This form of employment is now common in a variety of fields such as:

>> Medical;

>> Engineering;

>> IT (Information Technology);

>> Mining;

>> Project Management;

>> Construction; and

>> Government.

So, if you are a PAYG contractor and you are looking for finance, here is a list of things that lenders/credit providers will require you to provide:

1. You will be required to provide a copy of your most recent “Employment Contract”, with income details listed;

2. You will need to provide evidence that you have a minimum of 12 months employment in the same industry and that you have a good track record in your chosen industry; and

3. You will need to provide evidence that your employer or employment agency takes care of your income tax and superannuation contributions for you.

Note: If you are not on the direct payroll of an employer or employment agency, you may be treated as being self-employed.

Type 2 – Casual Workers

This type of employment applies to people working on a casual basis in the following industries:

1. Restaurants;

2. Retail;

3. Teaching and Tutoring;

4. Nursing;

5. Childcare;

6. Trades;

7. Drivers; and

8. Cleaning.

If you are a casual employee, you will need to provide evidence that you have been employed at the same place for at least 6 months.

Lenders/credit providers will calculate your average earnings over a set period, and count this as your income. However, if you want to work out your own average earnings, then you can use an income annualisation calculator to calculate your own average earnings.

Type 3 – Part-Time Employees

If you are employed on a part-time basis, you will find that lenders/credit providers will generally require you to:

1. Provide evidence that you have been employed at your current place of employment for at least 6 months: and

2. Provide copies of the following documents:

>> Current computerised pay-slip covering a minimum of two (2) pay cycles in order to confirm details of your base income; and

>> PAYG Summaries; or

>> A signed letter of employment from your employer listing details of your current base-remuneration.

Type 4 – Self-Employed Individuals

You are self-employed if you run your own business. You are categorised as self-employed individual even when you are conducting freelance work as a journalist, photographer, tour guide, etc. In such a situation, you will find that most lenders/credit providers will require you to provide evidence that you have a regular income to sustain a loan. This includes providing evidence that:

1. You are a business owner or partner;

2. You have been trading in your current business for at least 24 months;

3. Your business provides a steady income; and

4. You will be required to provide copies of:

>> Your most recent Personal and Business Income Tax Returns, and

>> One set of the business financial statements, reflecting two (2) years trading activity

Note: If you conduct freelance work with an employer, you may find that lenders/credit providers may require you to provide a copy of the written agreement between you and the employer that outlines your pay and conditions.

Type 5 – Sub-Contractors

Sub-contractors have specialized skills and they are generally employed by a primary contractor to provide specialized services in a variety of fields such as:

1. Building and Construction;

2. Mining;

3. Civil Engineering; and

4. IT (Information Technology).

Note: Many sub-contractors have little to no overheads and no staff and most are typically self-employed. In a sense they are similar to PAYG contractors.

Type 6 – Other Forms of Income

If you receive any other form of income and you are unsure if it is acceptable to lenders/credit providers, you should seek help from a qualified and licensed finance broker or a mortgage broker. You can even seek financial and legal advice from your accountant and solicitor. These other forms of income can include:

1. Centrelink payments;

2. Commissions and Bonuses income;

3. Trust Distributions income;

4. Car Allowances;

5. Annuity Income from Superannuation;

6. Director’s fees;

7. Second Job income;

8. Investment income (i.e. Dividends received from publicly listed companies); or

9. Court Ordered Maintenance payments.

Seek Expert and Professional Advice

If you still have doubts regarding your employment status and want to obtain finance, you can seek help of a finance broker. You should opt for a professional qualified finance broker because he/she will have experience of dealing with many lenders/credit providers on a regular daily basis. Also, he/she will be familiar with the lending guidelines and credit policy requirements of a number of lenders/credit providers.

Effective Pre-Employment Background Screening

In today’s competitive economic environment, firms cannot afford to be side-tracked by employee problems such as workplace violence, theft, false resumes, embezzlement, harassment or trumped-up injury claims. Employers have increasingly turned to pre-employment screening as a critical risk-management tool to try to avid hiring problem employees in the first place.

At the same time, companies are becoming more cost conscious as well. Despite the obvious benefits of pre-employment screening, management often expects security and human resources professionals to produce more results with fewer resources. The challenge facing security and human resources professionals is finding ways to implement an effective pre-employment screening program that is also cost-effective.

Such a program has four goals:

– First, the program must demonstrate that an employer utilizes due diligence in hiring. That means that an employer takes reasonable steps to determine a job applicant is fit for the job. This can protect an employer from claims of “negligent hiring.”

– Second, effective screening obtains factual information about a candidate, to supplement the impressions obtained from an interview alone. It is also a valuable tool for judging the accuracy of a candidate’s resume.

– Third, effective pre-employment serves to discourage applicants with something to hide. An applicant with serious criminal convictions is less likely to apply at a firm that announces it does pre-employment background checks.

– Finally, a background-screening program should encourage applicants to be very honest in their applications and interviews. Since applicants are told there is a background check, they have a motivation to reveal information about themselves they feel may be uncovered with a check.

Many firms view pre-employment screening as a process that starts after an applicant has been selected by a hiring manager or department, and the name is submitted to security or human resources for a background report. Depending upon the employer, it is either outsourced to a background company or investigated internally through corporate security. In a typical screening program the emphasis is on checking for criminal records, as well as other background searches that are commonly available.

An effective background-screening program, however, is much more then just checking criminal records after a candidate has been selected. In fact, an effective background screening program starts even before the first resume is received or the first interview is conducted. It requires a company-wide commitment to a safe hiring by everyone involved with hiring. Recruiters, hiring mangers and interviewers must understand safe hiring practices are not something someone else takes care of after they make a hiring decision. It is part of their responsibilities as well.

The following steps can increase the effectiveness of a screening program. However, they all take place before a hiring decision is made and before a background report is requested. They also take relatively little time and money compared to the benefits a firm receives.

These nine steps rely upon two vital factors. First, they utilize multiple and overlapping tools that approach the task from different directions. There is no one screening tool that all by itself guarantees an effective screening program. Second, they require the department in charge of background screening to recruit and educate everyone in the hiring process to become involved in safe hiring, starting with the person who places ads in the newspaper.

These nine steps are:

1. Job announcements, such as newspaper ads, should clearly indicate the firm requires background checks. This discourages an applicant with something to hide by clearly stating in the public announcement for a job opening that the company does screening. Employers find good applicants are not discouraged from applying at companies that do background screening. Employees are just as anxious as employers to work in a safe environment with qualified and honest people.

2. All applicants must sign consent for a background check, including a specific consent for criminal records at the time they submit an application or resume. This serves two vital functions in the screening process. First, it makes it very clear to a job applicant that criminal records will be searched. An applicant with a criminal record they want to hide may apply instead with a firm that does not perform screening. Second, some individuals may voluntarily disclose a prior difficulty. For some positions, a minor criminal violation honestly disclosed may not necessarily eliminate a person from consideration if the criminal offense is not related to the job.

There are some companies that do not use application forms, but instead hire based upon resumes. In that situation, a company can prepare a supplemental release form for the applicant to complete and sign. Some firms include a supplemental sheet in their applications asking a candidate specifically if they have any concerns about a background screening and whether there is anything they wish to bring to the company’s attention. This is an excellent device to focus applicants on the fact a thorough investigation will be conducted as part of the hiring process.

3. Include language in the consent concerning a release of records from foreign countries. Doing pre-employment screenings and criminal record checks in foreign countries can be difficult and expensive, and in many instances are not even possible. One approach, however, is to add specific language to a background form indicating the release to search for criminal records also applies to any jurisdictions outside the United States. That may cause applicants from abroad to either self-disclose problems or apply elsewhere.

4. Applicants should be asked directly if they have a criminal record in the interview and employment application. It is crucial that applicants be asked directly during the process if they have a criminal conviction or pending case. Ideally, that language should be in the employment application. During oral interviews, part of the standard questioning should be, “If we were to check with the courts, would we discover any criminal convictions or pending cases?”

In asking about criminal records, employers should keep the following in mind:

a. Always ask the broadest question allowed by the law in your state. Some employers are under the mistaken belief they can only ask about felonies. However, misdemeanor convictions can also represent serious crimes, and should be included as allowed by state law.

b. Employers should carefully phrase the question in order to not elicit any information about arrests not resulting in convictions. Employers are generally limited to convictions or pending cases.

c. Ask the applicant to describe any convictions or pending cases and give the specific location. This allows the employer to pull the court file and to determine if the applicant is truthful about the nature of the criminal case. It is also critical to ask for the exact location so the employer or background checking company knows exactly what court to search.

d. In any written application or release asking about criminal convictions or pending cases, the form also should contain the language to ensure compliance with discrimination laws. For example, “This company will not deny employment to any applicant solely because the person has been convicted of a crime. The company, however, may consider the nature, date and circumstances of the offense as well as whether the offense is relevant to the duties of the position applied for.

5. The employment application must clearly state that any false or misleading statements or material omissions is grounds to terminate the application process, or to terminate employment if it has begun, regardless of when the information is discovered. This is another critical part of an effective program. Employers generally cannot deny employment automatically because of a criminal conviction without taking certain factors into consideration. However, where a person has lied on their application by not admitting a prior criminal conviction in a response to a direct question, the lack of honesty is a valid reason for a rejection. An applicant needs to clearly understand dishonesty can lead to termination no matter when it is discovered.

6. If the background screening may not be completed before the start date for the position, make sure the applicant understands any employment is conditioned upon the employer’s receipt of a background report that is satisfactory to the employer. Sometimes employment will begin prior to the background report being completed. In those situations, it is important to notify the applicant, preferably in writing, that employment is subject to the employer’s receipt of a background report. It is also important the employer clearly state the background report is subject to the employer’s satisfaction only, so a job applicant cannot debate whether a report is satisfactory or not.

7. Check past employment references. Checking references is an essential part of the screening process. In fact, it can be just as valuable as a criminal records search. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to defend an employer sued for negligent hiring that failed to confirm a person’s past employment history. Even if previous employers limit the information to just start date, end date and job title, that information is still invaluable. The primary purpose of such a search is to confirm an applicant’s whereabouts for the past five to seven years and to make certain there are no unexplained gaps in employment. By knowing where a person has been, an employer limits the possibility that an applicant spent time in custody for a criminal offense.

It also assists an employer in determining what jurisdictions to search for criminal records. This is important because there is no such thing as a national criminal record search for most employers. Employers can only obtain criminal records by searching individual courthouses. Since there are more than 10,000 courthouses in America, it is important to know where to look.

Of course, an uninterrupted work history does not guarantee a lack of a criminal record. Some jurisdictions allow jail sentences to be served on weekends or through a work furlough program where a prisoner is released during working hours. However, when done in conjunction with all the other steps, checking past references is a vital part of the program.

8. Obtain a listing of all past addresses. Another important step is to include on the consent form a listing of all addresses for the past seven years, as well as the approximate time at each address. This not only reinforces in the applicant’s mind that the company is serious about screening, but it assists the employer in determining which jurisdictions to search for criminal records.

9. Include future screenings in the consent language. Every consent form should include language that the consent for a background screening allows for future background checks for purposes of promotion, reassignment or retention, unless otherwise revoked in writing. This serves three important purposes. First, it reinforces the idea the employer is serious about maintaining a safe workplace. An employee is on notice that they are subject to future investigations. Second, this language facilitates future investigations if necessary for claims of harassment, theft, violence or other difficulties. Finally, the language is also important due to recent interpretations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the federal law that governs pre-employment screening by outside agencies. This language in the release form makes it easier for an employer to utilize the services of an outside agency to conduct future investigations if workplace issues arise.

In addition to these nine steps, an employer also must perform additional checks to satisfy due diligence. The most important of these are courthouse searches for criminal records. There are other checks that can be performed as well. However, these preliminary steps that occur before a person is even hired can dramatically increase the effectiveness of a screening program. These steps also have the advantage of promoting workplace safety with very little additional costs. By enlisting everyone in the hiring process from the beginning, firms can dramatically increase the effectiveness of their screening programs.

Lester S. Rosen is an attorney at law and President of Employment Screening Resources, a national background checking company located in California offering employment screening services such as employee background screening, job verification, and credential verification.

He is the author of, “The Safe Hiring Manual–Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace.” (512 pages-Facts on Demand Press), the first comprehensive book on employment screening.

He is also a consultant, writer and frequent presenter nationwide on pre-employment screening and safe hiring issues. He has qualified and testified in the California, Florida and Arkansas Superior Courts as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. His speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences.

He is a former deputy District Attorney and criminal defense attorney and has taught criminal law and procedure at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. His jury trials have included murder, death penalty and federal cases. He graduated UCLA with Phi Beta Kappa honors, and received a J.D. degree from the University of California at Davis, serving on the Law Review. He holds the highest attorney rating of A.V. in the national Martindale-Hubbell listing of American Attorneys. Mr. Rosen was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) a professional trade organization for the screening industry, which now has over 500 members. He was also elected to the first board of directors and served as the first co-chairman in 2004.

Are You Really Self Employed?

Benefits of self employment
There are benefits to the employer. The ease of sacking and the financial benefits of no employer’s national insurance, no pension contributions, no sickness and holiday pay etc.

The main advantage to the worker is the reduction in national insurance and the ability to claim expenses such as, wages to family members, use of home, travel costs etc.

This is from the different wording of the act. Allowable expenses for the self employed need to be “wholly and exclusively for the purposes of earning the profits of the trade”.

For employees they must be “incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment”.

There is also the cash flow advantage. The self-employed do not suffer deduction of tax at source. As with all planning it is necessary to commit all the figures to paper to completely understand the financial implications and result.

The statutory position
Neither employee nor employer is defined in the Taxes Acts.

Common law differentiates on the basis that an employee has a contract of employment whereas a self employed person works to a contract for service.

The difference can be explained by the example of your house being painted. Who does the work? Is it the person who quoted or someone on his behalf?

The person who quoted is clearly self-employed but is his worker an employee? Is he under the control of the man who quoted or has he sub contracted his services?

To resolve this question you must review many aspects of how that person carries out his duties. You cannot just run through the check list on the HMR&C web site but you must paint a picture from the information gathered from that review. Then review the picture and make a decision.

The indicia
Opportunity to profit
An employee is paid a set sum under his contract whereas a self-employed person can profit from his actions. He may also lose money; an employee cannot.

Employees are remunerated for the hours they work whereas a self-employed person is usually paid for the job or task he has performed so the profit is in his own hands. He can adjust overheads and time; also he can take on help to complete the contract.

Employees cannot and cannot influence their return and they take no risk.

Mutuality of obligations
The length of a contract is not conclusive one way or the other. Employees often enter short term employment contracts.

What is important is that the self-employed can decline work and in effect select the work they want to do. Employees would be sacked if they declined work. Make sure the contract is per job or for a fixed term.

This assumed importance in the case (Sp C 599 Parade Park Hotel) which is useful in determining the meaning of mutual obligations.

It means that so long as the contractor is not obliged to offer a new contract and as long as you can decline work, then mutuality of obligation does not exist.

This was confirmed in the case of Bridges and others v Industrial Rubber plc where the contractual absence of a promise to provide work and the counter promise to do it was inconsistent with a contract of employment regardless of the other conditions of the working relationship.

Make it clear in the contract that the sub contractor is responsible for his own tax and national insurance and receives no benefits e g. no sick pay; no holiday pay and no pension contributions are paid on his behalf. It would be wise for the sub-contractor to register for VAT.

A self-employed worker usually provides the tools necessary to do the job.

Employees such as tradesmen usually supply the necessary hand tools. Larger items of equipment would be provided by the employer, the self-employed sub-contractor would provide them himself even if leased.

Work standard
For any engager the standard of work performed is important. An employer will require the employee to correct any unsatisfactory work but it is done in the employer’s time.

A self-employed person must perform the contract to an acceptable standard according to the terms of the contract. Any unsatisfactory work is put right in his own time and at his own expense.

It is important as to how workers are viewed by the neutral. An explanation of this item is outlined by the following example taken from the HMR&C web site.

“Someone taken on to manage a client’s staff will normally be seen as an integral part of the client’s organisation and this may be seen as a strong indicator of employment.”

One “employer”
Most people explain that if you work for only one engager or contractor you cannot be self-employed.

I agree that the more firms worked for the more likely a person is to be self-employed. Only one engager is not conclusive of employment.

You could have three concurrent employments. A good example of one engager not preventing self-employment would be lorry drivers. If you look at the driver’s door of a lorry you will see an indication of what I mean.

It is clear that if you supply the major equipment you are more likely to be self-employed.

Nothing can be deduced from part time work as both an employee and a self-employed person can work part time. A person can work for more than one engager.

He can have more than one employment; more than one engager but within the self-employed status. An employee under a contract of employment can also be self-employed at the same time.

If a subcontractor does not want to meet the cost of materials get the contractor to allow the sub-contractor to use his suppliers’ accounts and enjoy the same discounts. He will, of course, meet the cost from the recharge in the contract price.

Employment contract
If a contract requires a worker to provide personal services and requires the person who engages that person to remunerate him for those services that is likely to be a contract of service and thus an “employment” contract.

Such a contract will go on to specify all the other conditions and requirements of the engager i.e. working hours, holidays, sickness, discipline, grievances etc. So avoid reference to specific days or hours to be worked.

A clause that specifies that a worker can send a substitute in his place or engage other workers to help him fulfill his obligations under the contract is very important in considering the overall balance of the factors and must be in every self-employed contract.

This is one of the strongest single indicia of self-employment. Dr Avery Jones in the case Talentcore Ltd v Commissioners for HMR&C found that the substitution issue was more important than the control factor.

Again I must stress that the actions of the parties must mirror the contract so it would be wise to ensure that substitution takes place during the life of the contract or that help is engaged. The point is that under a contract of employment it is the worker that is employed and it is his labour that is pledged. The labour of someone else must mean a contract for rather than of service.

HMR&C acknowledges that it is the right of substitution that is important. The fact that the substitution has not occurred during a contract is not necessarily relevant. However, a contractual right will be ignored if in reality the worker must undertake the work personally. Dragonfly Consultancy Limited v HMRC (2008)

Most employees are paid by the hour, week, month or are on an annual salary.

The self-employed are usually paid by the job.

I find no difficulty in turning a day rate to payment per job. Take a bricklayer; he knows from the plans how long the job will take. Let us say four days and assume his rate two hundred pounds per day. He simply quotes eight hundred pounds for the contract.

Like all the indicia no one item is crucial. It is the balance between them all. HMR&C place considerable reliance on the method of payment but as I have said it is only one item.

Make sure, for example, that he hires the necessary scaffolding!!

Financial risk
There is virtually no financial risk to an employee. The self-employed risk their money. HMR&C indicate that “The risk of making a loss is a very strong indicator of self-employment and can be decisive on its own”.

Make sure you take out all the necessary insurances to include public liability and professional indemnity.

If you undertake work at home make sure with your broker that your home insurance covers any risk.

An employee is usually subject to a large degree of control although not always exercised in practice. He is also told how to do the job, although an expert such as a brain surgeon would be free of that control.

Also an employee’s hours of work, the place where he carries out the contracted work and other practical items are controlled by the employer.

In the case of Market Investigations Ltd. v The Minister of Social Security the Judge said “The most that can be said is that control will no doubt always have to be considered, although it can no longer be regarded as the sole determining factor”