10.5 Top Tips on Managing Contractors and Associates

With 50% of the workforce expected to be self-employed by around 2025, employers need to get their act together when managing contractors and associates.


1. Issue the contractor and associate version of the employment contract. It’s available here: Contract for Services.

2. Give them an induction, just as you would a new starter. They need to be aware of dress codes, security issues, health and safety, expenses, how to report problems etc.

3. Make sure you don’t inadvertently make them ‘employees’ (with legal rights) by providing full time work for them on an indefinite basis. Read More about this: Employed, self employed, or worker.

4. Remind them that they are responsible for their own tax reporting and tax payments and be aware you have money laundering responsibilities should you suspect any tax evasion activities. (Criminal Finance Act 2017).

5. Value them! Contractors and associates are a valuable resource to all organisations wanting to control their costs by flexing resources up and down. Their value should not be underestimated – not just an optional extra to be discarded or treated badly.


6. Forget to get a confidentiality agreement signed before they have any access to your customers, your information, your suppliers etc.

7. Let managers treat them like employees otherwise they might blur the line between employment and self-employment which could come back to bite you in the bottom. They don’t get return to work interviews after sickness, no disciplinary meetings, no appraisals etc.

8. Neglect your duty towards them in terms of non-discrimination, health and safety etc. If they are working for you, you are responsible.

9. Forget to relationship build with your associates. You want to identify and keep the great ones so you need to think about how to create solid long term relationships.

10. Forget to check what professional indemnity insurance they have and also make sure that your insurers are aware of your regular employment of associates and contractors in relation to your own public indemnity insurance.

And finally…

10.5 Be careful not to create a split organisation with contractors on one side and permanent employees on the other. Divisions aren’t helpful and you might need to step in to ensure all people working for you work well together and are pulling in the same direction.

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