The significance of the answers to the questions posed in Part 1
If most of your answers suggest that the employer is the one in control, even if for payment purposes the employee was treated as a contractor, there is a good chance that the law would deem that individual an employee, or a dependent contractor, which has the same consequences in the context of the Labour Code regime.
This would mean that the employer may also be held liable for contributions to the National Insurance Fund, a condition we now expect as a prerequisite for the well-anticipated unemployment benefits.
In addition, it affects the rights of the employee and obligations of the employer in deciding how to treat with termination or suspension of employment.
If the worker is an employee or dependent contractor, the employer MAY find himself/itself obligated to pay:
- accrued pay, vacation and other benefits;
- notice in lieu of notice; and
- termination allowance.
If the employer becomes bankrupt or insolvent, as many employers may be forced by this pandemic to do, then the worker who is an employee or dependent contractor has legal protection in respect of outstanding salaries and related payments.
See Part 3 next week on when the employer may terminate the contract on account of COVID-19 measures, and not pay at all, and if the employment can suspend employment by temporary lay-off.