University Employment of Independent Contractors Guideline

Document Number000553

Note: University staff undertaking consultancy activities are covered by the University Policy on Consultancy. The Guideline below covers the provision of consultancy services to the University by independent contractors.

This Guideline covers independent contractors undertaking consultancy activities for the University (‘independent contractors’).

To be employed as an independent contractor providing services to the University the person or company must:

  1. in the case of a company have an ACN, an ABN and professional indemnity and public liability insurance to $5million and $10million respectively, and where the company employs staff who will be engaged in the consultancy, workers compensation insurance;
  2. in the case of an individual, have professional indemnity and public liability insurance to $1million and $5million respectively and not already be a member of the University staff in any capacity. An individual may have an ABN, in which case the ABN number should be provided. If there is no ABN, the payment to that individual will be taxed at the top marginal rate, as provided for in taxation legislation;
  3. normally be undertaking duties other than teaching duties. For teaching related duties, consult Human Resource Services if a market-related rate has to be determined;
  4. meet the criteria for an ‘independent contractor’. The criteria are set out in Attachment 1 to this Guideline. Attachment 1 “Tax Facts” is produced by the Australian Taxation Office and is not an exhaustive guide as to whether the contract is with an employee or independent contractor. You should request further information if you are unsure which categorisation applies.

Further information:

  1. If the person/external body should be a casual/fixed-term employee of the University, contact Human Resource Services (Rachel Fowell on telephone (02) 49215248 or or Jannell Rowe on telephone (02) 49215264 or
  2. If the person/external body is to be engaged as an external contractor, contact the Legal Unit for a pro forma contract, telephone (02) 49212067.
  3. For further information on any matter within this Guideline or the Attachment, contact the Legal Unit, telephone (02) 49212067.

PAYG Withholding Guide No 2 – How to determine if workers are employees or independent contractors. This information leaflet - NAT 2780-4.2003 - is available from the Australian Taxation Office web site in PDF format at

Approval AuthorityVice-Chancellor
Policy SponsorDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Services)
Policy OwnerDirector, Corporate Services
Policy ContactAssociate Director, Commercial Services
Amendment History

Minor amendment to update contact details approved by Manager, Human Resource Services 27 June 2012.

Amended Policy Owner 24 March 2010