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Employee or contractor: which status do you choose for your first recruitment?

Employers | 08 January 2020

Your business is growing and you are ready to make your first appointment. But what status should you choose, employee or contractor? We can help you by reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of both statuses.

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Employee or contractor: which status do you choose for your first recruitment?

#1 Employee?

The status of employee is a bit of a Holy Grail for any job seeker. And for good reason, it holds many advantages for the employee. First of all, this collaborative relationship stems from a contract of employment whose terms are governed by social legislation. But you cannot just do whatever you want with an employment contract. It must be specific and cover the hours, the place of work, the salary and fringe benefits. The employment contract gives the right to seniority, as well as rights and obligations in the event of a breach of contract.
 
The employee is not responsible for the administration of his or her remuneration. The administration of the salary, deduction of social security contributions and exemption tax at source are the responsibility of the employer or his social secretariat.

The advantage for the employer is that the employee is entirely under his hierarchical direction.
 

#2 Contractor?

As a self-employed individual, a contractor is not bound by an employment contract but by a commercial relationship. This is based on terms agreed between the parties via an agreement that establishes the nature of the assignment, the duration, and the amount of the fees linked to this service.
 
In terms of administration, a company that takes on an external contractor only has to pay the invoices linked to the services. It is up to the contractor to join a social insurance fund and to pay the quarterly contributions and exemption tax him-/herself.
 
In the context of a commercial relationship, there is no direct link of authority between the company that needs the services of a colleague and the provider of the service. The latter therefore retains his/her independence and has the right to refuse the assignments offered.
 

#3 Beware of bogus self-employed workers

The self-employed status can be tempting for a first appointment within your company because it represents less administrative hassle and lower costs. However, it is forbidden to use an external contractor as an employee. If you do, the contractor is considered to be a “faux indépendant” - a bogus self-employed worker. This is a status that entails a number of risks for both the contractor and the company.
 
The NSSO may claim arrears of personal and employer social security contributions going back three years.
 
Using bogus self-employed workers is subject to penal and administrative sanctions that can be very heavy.
 

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