The following is legal advice GPRA has obtained regarding GP registrars being engaged as contractors:
“The relationship between registrars and the party that engages their services is one of employer-employee. This is because the salient features of an employer-employee relationship are evident in a registrar-practice relationship (or any combination thereof). Involvement in an apprentice or trainee situation also has a significant impact on whether an individual is viewed by the ATO as a contractor or an employee. Therefore, no matter if you operate as a contractor, or what a signed, legal document with your employer says, your legal relationship with your practice is employer-employee.”
While this issue has not been tested in a court of law, to our knowledge; however, the ATO is clear on the matter.
Therefore, GPRA strongly recommends that all registrars should be treated as employees, not contractors, as per NTCER cl. 4:
“It is a requirement of the NTCER that a registrar is engaged as an employee (see the ATO website). The NTCER gives rise to no other relationship between the parties, such as an independent contractor, partner or agent.”
So all registrars should reasonably be engaged as employees. Practices must pay PAYG tax on wages, pay the superannuation guarantee, and provide paid annual leave and paid personal leave for the registrar. Both registrars and supervisors are protected in this arrangement for indemnity and Workcover insurance purposes.