The Contractor vs Employee Distinction
The essential steps to protect clients
What businesses can & can't do


Welcome to Knowledge Shop IQ (how IQ modules work)


The ATO continues to enjoy a high success rate challenging the treatment of contractors under the superannuation guarantee legislation - they also have a strong incentive to monitor and take action in this area as liabilities can quickly accumulate.


This IQ module will help you identify arrangements at risk of triggering significant superannuation guarantee liabilities and explores the steps to minimise that risk. This is an issue that is not going away any time soon.


See the IQ module outline.


The Contractor Vs Employee Distinction is part of the Intermediate I Program of 10 modules specifically designed to manage the training needs of your Intermediate team members across a year.


Level 2Level
Intermediate/ Accountant

55:27 minutes + quiz questions

24/7 for 12 months

Downloadable reference notes

PD HoursPD Hours
1.5 PD Hours

Introduction (0:54)

  • Why the contractor vs employee matters
  • Module overview

Different ways someone is treated as an employee (6:18)

What are the key factors that need to be considered in determining whether a worker is treated as an employee for SG purposes?

  • The definition of employee and its implications
  • Contract for labour

Working through the process - the overarching issues (3:38)

  • Substance over form and what to look for
  • The AAT's warning

Working through the process (12:50)

  • Step-by-step through the key factors and how they apply

Your turn (1:40)

  • Quiz 1

Your turn (3:14)

  • Quiz 1 outcome and explanation
  • Quiz 2 

Your turn (3:13)

  • Quiz 2 outcome and explanation
  • Quiz 3 

Your turn (1:56)

  • Quiz 3 outcome and explanation

Managing problems - implications (5:43)

  • The implications of getting it wrong
  • SGC components

Managing problems (6:50)

  • How far back can the ATO go to recover SG liabilities?
  • Can a business contract out of its SG obligations?
  • Can businesses with SG problems just shut down and start fresh with a clean slate?

Risk minimisation (6:45)

  • The strategies
  • Can workers operate through companies or trusts to avoid  SG obligations?

Wrapping it up (1:12)

  • Bringing it all together 

Test your knowledge

  • Quiz questions, outcomes and explanation

Notes download

  • Comprehensive notes for your reference

What is Knowledge Shop IQ?

Knowledge Shop IQ is engaging, interactive online training available when you want it on most devices. Featuring knowledge driven quizzes developed by our technical specialists, IQ also enables you to prove your knowledge - it’s training that moves well beyond hours completed to knowledge acquired.


If you are going to spend time completing training, make that time worthwhile.


Once you have accessed your first IQ training module, all other Knowledge Shop IQ modules and webinars you participate in will show on your personal profile.

For managers, Knowledge Shop IQ gives you the ability to:

  • Assign training to your team, and
  • Track and measure performance.

Knowledge Shop IQ is an essential tool for any practice looking to truly manage professional development.


You can register just one team member for a Knowledge Shop IQ module or your office**.


Got questions? Email us or call the team on 1800 800 232.


IQ Presenter

Michael Carruthers

Tax Director, Knowledge Shop

Michael Carruthers Director Knowledge Shop

Michael oversees the development of the tax team for Knowledge Shop and Hayes Knight in Sydney and is head of the Hayes Knight group’s national tax committee. 


Michael has a knack for seeing through the complexity and helping practitioners work through highly technical issues with certainty and accuracy. 


He is a member of the advisory panel for the Board of Taxation and was an expert panel member for the Board of Taxation’s review of tax impediments facing small business.


Linked In


Michael was the Thought Leader of the Year at the 2016 Accounting Awards


The Contractor Vs Employee Distinction is part of the Intermediate I Program of 10 modules specifically designed to manage the training needs of your Intermediate team members across a year.



Knowledge Shop members register through the member-only website

Members please log in from the registration page or register through the member-only website.

More on membership


Terms & Conditions 
All registrations to Knowledge Shop events are subject to our terms and conditions which include a cancellation policy. No refunds are provided once a module has been accessed.