Employee or Self-employed?

Posted: November 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

Employee or Self-Employed?

Increasingly, the Canada Revenue Agency is reviewing the employment status of workers in the motion picture industry, and studio productions are requiring workers to be engaged as employees not sub-contractors.

VFX artists who opt to work as self-employed sub-contractors instead of as employees need to be aware of the criteria that the Canada Revenue Agency uses to determine employment status.

In addition working as a sub-contractor puts the artist at a disadvantage while advantaging the employer. If you are classified as self-employed the employer is not contributing to your Canada Pension Plan, you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, and you will be responsible for Workers Compensation premiums.

Referring to the Canada Revenue Agency guidelines it would appear many artists do not qualify for self-employed status but are in fact employees.

The following factors would indicate you are a self-employed individual:

The worker is usually free to work when and for whom he chooses and may provide his or her services to different payers at one time.

Facilities all around town are staffed by hundreds of artists working on a project by project basis.

The worker can generally choose the time and the manner the work will be performed and the worker does not need to be at the payer’s premises.

The majority of artists who have signed contracts with facilities are required to show up to work on a regular schedule and perform their work at the facilities premises.

The worker can accept or refuse work from the payer.

Refusing to work can result in dismissal.

The working relationship between the payer and the worker does not present a degree of continuity, loyalty, security, subordination, or integration, all of which are generally associated with an employer-employee relationship.

Lack of loyalty and security possibly but most VFX artists are subordinate, beers on the roof at 6.

Don’t take our word for it, check out the entire document, then ask yourself am I being classified correctly, and what liabilities do I incur if mislabeled.

  1. Tim says:

    Out of curiosity. If one is classified as a subcontractor and no deductions are made, can the employer still receive tax credits against this labour?

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