The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Employers and employees alike have adapted to different work situations and environments, including more flexible remote options. Statistics show that independent contractors made up 6.9% of the total number of workers employed in 2017. As a business owner, you may have full-time, salaried employees or part-time, contract employees, or a combination of both. Independent or freelance workers can provide several benefits, such as special knowledge or skills, staffing flexibility, and overall cost savings. However, it is important to note the legal requirements and differences between independent contractors versus salaried employees.
Although independent contractors typically charge an hourly rate, this can be cost-effective in the long run. If they are experts in their field, this saves time on training and onboarding. In addition, they only need to be employed for a designated amount of time, or as long as a project takes to be completed. Many employers are able to verify a contractor’s reputation by speaking to other companies that used their services, or by reviewing samples of their work.
Since freelance or independent contractors are used on a temporary basis, employers may have concerns about potential conflicts of interest or the sharing of information with competitors or future clients. It is possible to include a clause in a contract outlining the rules regarding ownership of intellectual property or confidential information such as business ideas, financial data, and trade secrets.
Many independent professionals can perform their work from home, which may cause concern about their availability. Before the project starts, management should meet with the contractor to specify a plan regarding how and when communication will take place, including a project’s status or progress, as well as how deliverables will be handled and payments will be made.
Ultimately, individuals from outside the company can bring a fresh perspective and unbiased ideas to the table. This often allows for the opportunity to formulate new, creative ideas for the company.
The advantages of hiring independent contractors can be significant, even if it is in addition to your salaried employees. A dedicated Illinois employment attorney can assist you with classifying your staff members to make sure you are operating at the highest efficiency. At The Miller Law Firm, P.C., we have experience with resolving legal matters for small and large businesses in a variety of industries. Attorney Miller is well-versed in Illinois employment law and will ensure that your business is protected from financial harm. Call our office today at 847-995-1205 to arrange a free consultation.