Employee or contractor? Australia’s High Court resets “multifactorial test”
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High Court of Australia
Charmaine Tsang
Charmaine Tsang is a partner at HFW
Steve Bowler
Steve Bowler is a senior associate at HFW

Since the High Court’s decision in Stevens v Brodribb Sawmilling Company (as confirmed and refined in Hollis v Vabu Pty Ltd), the question of whether a worker was an employee or a contractor has been determined in the courts through the application of the “multifactorial test”.

This test requires courts to consider the “totality of the relationship” between the parties by reference to a range of criteria such as whether the worker exercised control over the way their work was performed, or operated their own business.