A Multi Factor Test
Multi factor test is a combination of a series of evidences and facts in the determination of a case. Most of the cases that require the use of a multi factor test are the ones which do not have straightly laid out procedures for determination and thus the judge or person presiding over the judgment is left with the decision of looking at all the facts to determine which ones are heavier than the others and thus qualify as applicable. The case of analysis, (case 205) involves the determination of whether certain fishermen who were working with a certain tax paying company qualified to be referred to as employees and thus whether they were qualified for benefits that were a reserve for the employees of the company. The presiding judge ruled that according to the facts that were laid down, the fishermen did not qualify as employees of the taxpayer. This is an analysis of the decision that was arrived at by the presiding judge and the facts that helped him reach his verdict.
Under the Australian law, a person is considered an employee of another person or a company for a number of reasons. One is that he is under the jurisdiction of the employer. This means that the employer is completely in charge of all the operations of the employee including the duties that he is supposed to carry, where he is supposed to do them and the manner in which he is supposed to do them. according to the case, the fishermen were not under any obligation to the taxpayer, except when they were expected to surrender their day’s findings to the company, as well as pay a certain fee for operations cost, an amount that was usually deducted from the gross earnings that were realized by the fishermen. The fisherman that gave evidence to the court even specified that once they were out of the mother boat and had ventured out on their own in their individual dories, the company no longer had any jurisdiction over where they went and what they did while out there. In fact, this fisherman said that some of the times, when they had left the mother board, he would abandon his dory and go out with other crews. As long as at the end of the day, he would surrender his findings, for which he would be paid. The superannuation act provides that if a person is engaged via a contact by another for the provision of his labor, that person shall be considered to be an employee of the second party. This could easily be applicable to this situation because the two parties are in contact with each other in the sense that the fishermen had been contracted by the company to go fishing using their vessels and pay them a certain percentage after for the sake of maintenance. However, this does not entirely qualify them as employees due to the nature of the contract. For instance, the contract refers to the agreement as a contract between two venturers. This does not mean that one is under the supervision of the other. It simply refers to a state where two parties are putting their resources together for the benefit of each of them in a certain way. For instance, the farmers may have not had the resources to go deep into the waters, thus their need to come together under contract with someone else who had the ship that would enable them carry out their activities in the water. The company on the other hand, had the vessel but did not have the people who would carry out the activities that would generate income for the company, thus their choice to enter into this type of contract with the fishermen. This should however not be confused with a partnership, seeing as the contract is also quick to state that the arrangement was not a partnership.
When one is an employee of another, he is not supposed to employ or contract other people to do his duties for them, since contracts signed with the employer specify that he is the one to do the work, which is the reason he is hired in the first place. However, looking at the facts of the case, this was not a provision for the contract between the taxpayer and the fishermen. The only interest of the taxpayer was that when the fishermen returned, they would have to give in what they had collected for the day, and a certain percentage would be deducted. Therefore, whatever the fishermen did while they were out in the field was not a concern of the company at all. Since they would be gone the whole day, they were free to do all that they wanted. The ultimate concern of the company, actually, was the money that it would receive from the fishermen, the ones that they were deducted.
Another provision for employer and employee relationship is that the former is in charge of provision of any equipment that are necessary for the latter to perform his duties, and the latter is not held responsible for the maintenance of those equipment. This was not the case for this agreement. The company was definitely the one that provided the mother boat. From there, the fisherman that testified stated that sometimes they would be provided for the equipment to carry out fishing, and sometimes they would use their own. Again, they were expected to pay a certain amount that was deducted from their gross earnings that would go towards maintenance of the appliances. This is not usually done to employees. Employees are typically engaged by the employer for their services. They are never expected to pay any type of money for any reason. They ate instead the ones who are to receive money from the employer for the services rendered. However, in this scenario, there is no money that was given to the fishermen that can be referred to as payment for their services. This is because the only money that they receive is one that they own since it is a direct representation of the money they have earned from sales of their fish. Instead, they are the ones who are expected to regularly part with a certain amount of money given to the taxpayer.
An employee is typically expected to receive coverage while working for a certain company or individual for accidents that occur in the line of duty, or that will assist him in payment of medical fees when he falls sick. This is only an exception in very few instances. This is not the case in this instance because we are told that the fishermen did not expect any form of coverage from the taxpayer. This is mainly because they were not working on company time seeing as earlier mentioned, the company was not concerned with their activities but rather the money that they brought in. This therefore adds to the point that disqualifies them as employees of the company.
When employees enter into contracts with a company that employs them, the contract usually contains specifications on different maters, among them the amount of time that the employee is expected to dedicate himself to the company for which he will be paid1. Again, this is not a provision for the contact between the fishermen and the taxpayer. First of all, this is because the contract only contains issues that deal with the payment of fees that the fishermen are charged for maintenance. How long they intend to work is not a prerequisite. This is added weight by the fact that the fisherman that provided evidence to the court specified that he was under no obligation to work with the company and would only contact them when he wished.
In conclusion, the fishermen should not be considered as part of the company or as their employees. This is based on this multi factor test. The multi factor test has proven, just as the judge had ruled, that they were not employees, because in fact, most of the agreements that the two parties qualified them more as partners than employer employee, even though their contract also expressly stated that they were not partners but rather two venturers who in one way or another were simply assisting each other to reach their goals and to perform their duties.
Australian Government Fair Work Building and Construction. Retrieved from http://www.fwbc.gov.au/employee-or-contractor.
English, Linda M. “Public private partnerships in Australia: An overview of their nature, purpose, incidence and oversight.” UNSWLJ 29 (2006): 250.
Little, Beverly, and Philip Little. “Employee engagement: conceptual issues.” Journal of Organizational culture, Communications and conflict 10, no. 1 (2006): 111-120.
 Australian Government Fair Work Building and Construction. Retrieved from http://www.fwbc.gov.au/employee-or-contractor.
 Little, Beverly, and Philip Little. “Employee engagement: conceptual issues.” Journal of Organizational culture, Communications and conflict 10, no. 1 (2006): 111-120.
 English, Linda M. “Public private partnerships in Australia: An overview of their nature, purpose, incidence and oversight.” UNSWLJ 29 (2006): 250.