Contractor or Employee?

  • 30 minute talk

Are those contractors you work with really contractors, or would the Australian Tax Office actually regard them as employees?

Not stuff you generally want to have to worry about, but considering the misconceptions around this topic ("rules" that people think exist but that aren't actually relevant), it's quite important to know the facts as getting it wrong can cost you a lot of money in fines and back-payment of compulsory Super and WorkCover. And perhaps sadly, "I didn't know" is not a viable defence. So really, it's best to get it right.

Similarly, if you are a contractor, there are things you should know - and perhaps you're actually an employee...

In this session, Arjen provides some clarity on this topic, having explored these topics for his own company not too long ago.


After working for, Arjen started Open Query ( in 2007. Since then this primary business has spawned various other initiatives including Blue Hackers ( and Upstarta ( and his latest OpenSTEM (

Arjen lives in Brisbane with his wife Claire and blended family of 4 kids + cat Figaro.

The OSDC 2014 team is dedicated to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming conference environment for everyone. We have a code of conduct to clearly outline our expectations. Our goal is to create a safe and harassment-free conference experience for all involved, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, preferred operating system, programming language or text editor.