Workplace Law: Benny vs Gtpl

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Date Submitted: 09/29/2012 09:27 AM

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Having examined the facts and circumstance of this case, I am of the view that based on common law tests and reasoning, Benny Brown is an employee.

Common Law

The common law provides a method of identifying employment. It aids to categorise work relationships and distinguish from one and another. In order to determine if or not a worker is an employee, the common law differentiates between an independent contractor and an employee. The legal status for an independent contractor is contract for service whereas for an employee is its contract of service.

Control Test

Control tests focused entirely upon the degree of control the ‘employer’ have over the worker.

In the case of Federal Commissioner of Taxation v J Walter Thompson (Aust) Pty Ltd, the court concluded the actors as employees due to extensive control during rehearsals and the final performance.

Using the Zujis V Wirth Brothers Pty Ltd, the High court found the artist under contract of service a. The reasoning was that, though the artist had complete control over the performance, it was subject to the direction of the proprietor in other aspects of the work.

For our case of Greenest Trees Pty Ltd (GTPL), it had extensive control over the jobs allocated to Benny. This was indicated by GTPL that jobs were to be allocated on a call by call basis. However, Benny was permitted to attend private jobs, as long jobs allocated by GTPL had priority. It would appear as GTPL has close control over Benny on the jobs to be carried out.

Multi-Factor Test

Multi Factor Test is seen as a definitive test for identifying employment as no single factor will be conclusive; all factors are to be considered and equally weighed.

Applying the multi- factor test, Benny is seen as an employee.

First, Benny had to make use of his own transport & equipment to attend to any calls allocated by GTPL. However, he can be seen as an employee as he had a clear and regular obligation to work and was compensated a weekly allowance...