Hiring Employees and Independent Contractors

No business can run without people to manage and perform its operations. The question then becomes whether a particular task will be performed by a full-time or part-time employee, or whether a service provider or consultant will be retained to do the work.


Bringing a new employee into your business may seem like a very simple proposition. However, the decision to hire a new employee raises a series of important questions that must be answered, such as whether to hire the new employee on a full-time or part-time basis, and whether to give him or her a fixed-term contract. In addition, it brings your company under the vast umbrella of laws and regulations designed to protect employees in Ireland.


A “part-time” employee is one who works less than a comparable full-time employee at your company, i.e. less than a person who is performing the same or similar type of work. There may be many reasons to hire a part-time employee: the job involved may not require full-time work, a good worker may not be available full-time, your company may not be able to afford a full-time worker, etc. But do not think that by hiring workers part-time you will avoid the legal responsibilities and protections afforded your full-time workers. In Ireland, almost all of the laws that apply to full-time employees apply to part-time as well.


In assessing whether to hire an employee to provide a service that is necessary or desirable for your business, you should analyze whether the service is an integral part of operating your business that will be required for the foreseeable future, or whether it is a temporary need either to get your business up and running or improve its operations. If it is the latter, you may want to find a service provider or consultant to perform the required tasks on an independent contracting basis.


Both service provider and consulting arrangements can range from short, discreet projects to outsourcing all of your sales and marketing efforts. However, in every situation where your business is attempting to establish an independent contracting relationship with the service provider, it always has to make sure that it does not inadvertently allow either the government or the service provider to claim that it is actually an employer-employee relationship. This is very important, because hiring an employee entails a broad spectrum of employer responsibilities and employee rights that do not exist in independent contracting situations.


If you are going to sell products as part of your business, you will need to decide whether your company will manufacture those goods or find a supplier to provide them. And regardless of what line of business you go into, it is almost guaranteed that you will need a supplier of some sort.

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