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6. Conclusion

The foregoing summarizes some of the distinctions between employees and independent contractors in Canadian law.

In Canada, the line between who is an employee and who is an independent contractor is often blurred, which may have significant implications for employers. If an independent contractor is found to be an employee, the employer faces significant liability under a number of statutes, as well as under the common law. Consequently, it is imperative that the relationships between workers and the companies retaining their services be both correctly characterized under clear and legally enforceable written agreements, and correspond to practical realities that are consistent with those agreements.

Generally, the factors applied by Canadian adjudicators in assessing the status of a worker will examine the totality and true nature of the relationship in dispute. In simple terms, if an individual looks like an employee and acts like an employee, adjudicators in Canada are likely to find that he or she is in fact an employee.

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