"Contract Employment" is an increasingly common term used in businesses of all types and sizes for the engagement of an individual to provide personal services to the organization. For many APEGGA individual members or organizations, there has been confusion or misunderstanding of the roles and responsibilities of the employee/employer when employment details involve more of an "arm's length" relationship than the traditional salaried employee approach.

The nature of operating economics for private and public business organizations is to reduce and control employment liability costs which are most often the major operating expenditure. In response to this business decision, individual professionals face a range of re-employment conditions with variable duration, remuneration structure, benefit program and termination clauses in a more documented contractual arrangement. Equally important, in a contractual employment situation, there will likely be subtle and/or distinct changes in the administration and methods in which the professional services are utilized within the organization. The individual needs to understand and negotiate the most appropriate business and professional terms to satisfy both individual and employer needs and obligations.

While all employees should have a clear understanding and description of their responsibilities to the employer, issues such as scope of services, supervision, confidentiality, professional liability and organizational integration have fewer traditional procedures when the employee is hired "differently" from "our regular employees". In addition, items including payroll, taxation, Workers Compensation, Employment Insurance and liability insurance coverage can be distinctly different, particularly where the APEGGA member has more than one employer. The primary objective of this guideline is to provide clarity for the individual on his/her professional practices as a member of APEGGA. The guideline will also benefit organizations employing professionals to better define and address issues inherent in having several "classes" of employees or service contractors.

The guideline is divided into two sections. The first section outlines those issues which can impact the member's ability to provide a high quality professional service and should be the focus of discussions with the employer prior to commencing work. The checklist approach with statements on these engagement issues include references to appropriate APEGGA Guidelines. Above all, it is the individual who is accountable for adherence to the APEGGA Code of Ethics and other conduct and practice requirements of APEGGA membership.

The second section provides a brief overview of the common terms of engaging professional services and presents definitions of "contract of services and "contract for services", as it applies to the business relationship between employee and employer. Reference is made to liability and taxation situations which should be considered in order to arrange a sound and responsible business contract of employment.

References to appropriate APEGGA documents and the topics discussed herein are presented and cross-referenced in Appendix A. For an individual engaged in, or considering, contract employment, a singular essential reading is APEGGA Professional Practice - A Guideline.