Working Subcontractors

Working Subcontractors

Am I a Working Subcontractor (WSC)?

CoINVEST cite common law to determine whether a person is classified as a worker or a working subcontractor. Complex arrangements often exist. Hence each case is determined on an individual basis. Penalties may apply if an individual is incorrectly classified.

To avoid penalties we recommend contacting CoINVEST via email to to discuss your situation.


If you are a Working Subcontractor employing Workers or Apprentices directly you are required to register as an Employer, (generally as a sole trader or in a partnership) supply details of their days worked and gross wages earned every quarter via our Workers Days and Wages (WDW) form, and make contributions to CoINVEST. From 1 July 2009 employer contributions have been based on a rate of 2.7% of the total gross wages reported on the Workers Days and Wages form.

As a business owner, if you operate using a Company (Pty Ltd) ABN and perform works covered by CoINVEST rules, you are classed as a Worker and therefore an employee of your business. All employees must be contributed for by the business. For more information please see our Working Directors page.

As a business owner, if you operate using a Sole Trader or Partnership ABN, (regardless of whether you engage employees or not), you yourself need to be registered with CoINVEST as a Working Subcontractor.

If you are engaging Working Subcontractors details should not be recorded by you on Worker Days & Wages Forms.

If you are a worker, details of your service are supplied to CoINVEST by your Employer. Contributions are also made by your employer. Further details can be found in the Workers section of this site.

The below distinctions serve as a guideline only. To verify if you are a Working Subcontractor or a Worker please contact CoINVEST via email to

Worker Working Subcontractor

A period of continuous work for one employer suggests an employee relationship

Will work for a number of different clients, not just one employer

In law, a 'Master-Servant' relationship exist

i.e. the employer is responsible for superannuation, redundancy payments, sick pay, overtime allowances, WorkCover etc

Person is a separate business entity (not including incorporated/Pty Ltd)

A contract exists specifying the total outcome and amount to be paid

Entitlements are the person's own responsibility

Employer may exercise control over employee's hours, work methods, etc.

There is direct supervision

Person is responsible for their own hours and work methods and must make good any faulty work

Person does not have the ability to enter into contracts, advertise for work or submit quotes without reference to the employer

Person is free to enter into contracts without reference to anyone else, can advertise for work or enter into a new contract

Bears no financial risk and receives no gain apart from specified daily, hourly, weekly or piece rate

Person is responsible for own financial risk

Provides tools limited to their own trade – no machinery

Generally responsible for all tools, machinery, materials etc. including order, delivery and transport

Person will be paid on a regular basis in a defined manner, e.g. a specific rate per hour or piece rate

Aside from any agreed instalments, the person will be paid per job, or per job stage ("Price Per Job”)