The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.E.87 Employee, private contractor


This definition applies to all payments.

Definition: employee

An employee is someone who is:

  • under a contract OF service to an employer, AND
  • a salary or wage earner (1.1.S.20), AND
  • subject to PAYG tax deductions.

Anyone who is solely an employee is not self-employed. The employees of a self-employed individual are wage or salary earners.

Definition: private contractor

A private contractor is someone who is under a contract FOR services.

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.U.30 Unemployed (JSP), 4.3.3 Income from employment

Last reviewed: