The first step in determining the status of a worker is to consult the Service Types list below. If this list indicates that the work is employment in nature, the individual worker must be engaged as an employee and the University’s regular hiring practices followed.
If the suggested conclusion does not appear in one of the sections below and the worker is seeking to be engaged as an independent contractor, or a corporation is seeking to be engaged to perform the services, an Independent Contractor (ICON) Questionnaire must be completed for assessment. Two weeks lead time must be provided for the ICON team to make an assessment. Further notice may be necessary to complete the hiring processes (if the worker is an employee) or for procurement practices to be followed (if the individual worker is a contractor or a corporation or partnership is going to be engaged).
The University has determined that the following types of workers are to be classified as employees:
Full-Time Academic Appointments
All full-time academic appointments are considered to be employees.
Exception: The secondment of an employee from another educational institution or government entity where the University pays the seconding institution for the worker’s time.
Part-Time Instruction for Credit Courses that are Part of an Accredited Degree Program
- Part-time instructors for credit courses that are part of an accredited degree program are considered to be employees of the University.
- Exception: The secondment of an employee from another educational institution, government entity or large professional firm where the worker is not an owner or shareholder of the firm and where the University pays the institution for the worker’s time.
Non-Credit Short Courses
If the course is (or is intended to be) recurring and the worker teaches >25 hours per year total for the University, the worker is considered to be an employee.
Exception: The secondment of an employee from another educational institution, government entity or large professional firm where the worker is not an owner or shareholder of the firm and where the University pays the institution for the worker’s time.
Existing or Former Employees
- Individuals doing the same or similar work as is/was done during their employment are considered to be employees.
- Research Consulting (discussed below).
Workers hired in a variety of support roles across campus where expenses are paid by the University are considered to be employees.
- Examples include:
- Marking exams and/or papers
- Preparing exams and/or course outlines
- Exception: Workers engaged on a short-term basis through a temporary employment agency from a pool of similar workers.
Generally speaking, where only the individual’s time is purchased (e.g. individual is paid a salary or a fixed hourly or daily rate), specific tasks are assigned and expenses are borne by the University, an employment-type arrangement usually exists.
If an arrangement is determined to be employment-type in nature, the University must engage the individual worker as an employee.
Consulting is the provision of professional or expert advice. It does not include teaching or research-related activities. Please refer to the Post Determination Actions section of the Assessment using the ICON Questionnaire page for requirements related to Bill 122 for engaging independent contractors in consulting contracts.
- Consulting services performed by existing employees of the University will generally be considered an extension of their employment relationship and any related payments treated as employment earnings. However, if the services are unrelated to the duties carried out by the individual under their employment contract, the ICON Questionnaire should be completed to assist in the determination of worker status.
- For consulting services performed by other individuals, partnerships, or corporations, the ICON Questionnaire should be completed to assist in the determination of worker status.
Research consulting payments can be made if the University enters into a research contract with a third party and a portion of the contract fee paid to the University is allocated by the third party for payments to faculty researchers (typically the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-applicant on the project) for their work on the research. These payments can be paid by the University to a corporation controlled by a faculty member (in which case Policy 52, Private Corporations, should be followed) or to the faculty member directly.
There is no need to complete the ICON Questionnaire for research consulting payments. The University reports these payments on T4A slips.
Details on how to submit requests for Research Consulting payments can be found on the Office of Research website.
Other categories of workers are less clear and should therefore be assessed through the use of the ICON Questionnaire. Common types of workers requiring assessment would include but are not limited to:
- Instructors for non-credit short courses not classified above
- Guest lecturers/speakers
- Performing artists
- Workers performing non-instructional services such as:
Writing/editing/creating textbooks and course materials
Writing a computer program
Web site design
Other points of note:
- A corporation may only be engaged to provide services if the ICON Questionnaire determines that it is appropriate to do so.
- If the ICON Questionnaire determines that it would be inappropriate to engage a corporation because the substance of the arrangement is that of an employment arrangement between the worker and the University, an employment contract must be entered into between the worker as an individual and the University.
- The fact that a worker is a sole-proprietor or a partner in a partnership does not in itself prove that an independent contractor relationship exists, regardless of whether the sole-proprietor or partnership has a business number and/or a Goods and Services Tax (GST)/Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) number. The question can only be settled by examining the whole of the various elements which constitute the relationship between the parties.
- Independent contractors should seek independent tax advice.
Note: Payment for products or goods is not considered employment income and therefore must be processed as a payment to a business. Arrangements including both services and products will be assessed on a case by case basis.
In the case of any work performed by a non-resident of Canada or if work is to be performed outside of Canada, please consult Human Resources/Payroll (for employment relationships) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for independent contractor relationships) for advice on unique compliance scenarios applicable to such workers, including withholding tax requirements.