20+ Difference Between Employee And Independent Contractor

Employing a worker to do duties presents a company owner with two distinct paths: employing an employee or hiring an independent contractor. A person who works for a company in exchange for income is considered an employee of that company.

In contrast, independent contractors are self-employed individuals who provide services to the general public for a fee. The choice between an employee and an independent contractor is simple if you’re familiar with the distinctions between the two.

Comparison Between Employee and Independent Contractor

ParameterEmployeeIndependent Contractor
DefinitionAn employee is a person who is hired on a regular basis by an organization to carry out work in return for money at a set rate. This individual gets paid a predetermined wage. The conditions of this individual’s employment agreement provided that they will be compensated for the time that they put in.People that are self-employed and conduct work for other businesses in exchange for payment according to a defined price are referred to as “independent contractors.” In the realm of business, an arrangement similar to this one is typical.
TrainingWithin the confines of this specific situation, the purpose of the training is to advise the worker on how to carry out the services in a certain style in order to achieve the goals that have been specified.It is not the obligation of the organization that is in charge of administering the contract to supply the contractor with instructions, despite the fact that the organization is responsible for issuing instructions. The sole responsibility that the organization has with the contract is to manage it.
ApplicationThe HR section reviews resumes and applications from job seekers. The winner is offered a job. Date of birth, marital status, and citizenship are common subjects of inquiry when making a job offer.An aspiring contractor will contact the firm that will profit from their work early on. A potential vendor will likely prepare a proposal. The company’s legal or buying division will prepare and execute a contract with the contractor.
PayUnless permitted in advance, a worker’s pay period cannot be modified. The most common pay periods are weekly and monthly. If a worker’s usual payday occurs on a holiday, the check should be given as soon as possible following the holiday. Both state and federal laws are observed.The Accounts Payable department pays suppliers and other companies when billed. In the contract or Statement of Job, payment terms and timetables, such as when payment is due, are indicated. Contract workers aren’t considered employees unless they are paid.
AutomationAccording to Harman, businesses determine the number of workers they need in order for those individuals to be able to carry out the responsibilities that have been assigned to them by the organization.On the other hand, he said that independent contractors are often given a job or project to work on and are granted total autonomy regarding the amount of time they spend on it as well as the techniques that they use to do it. He said this happens very frequently.

Major Differences Between Employee and Independent Contractor

Who Exactly Is an Employee?

Someone who works for a company on a regular basis in exchange for a certain amount of money each pay period is considered an employee. An employment contract spells forth the specifics of the working relationship.

The agreement may be verbal, written, explicit, or implicit. The company decides exactly what, how, and when an employee must labor. An employer may recruit an employee on a temporary, part-time, or permanent basis, depending on their needs.

Employee Key Differences

  • An employee is a person who an employer engages to do work on a regular basis in return for a regular salary. An employee’s pay or earnings constitutes compensation. 
  • An employee’s only allegiance is to their employer. The employer supplies all necessary inputs, such as tools, materials, equipment, etc., for the worker to complete the job. 
  • The schedule and location of employment are both determined by the company. The employer will pay for all costs incurred by the worker when they are on the clock. 
  • The employer manages all of the employee’s work. The worker is not allowed to assign someone else to do the work. 
  • An employee receives training to do their duties in a certain manner. Several jobs and labor legislation at the federal level protect workers.
  • The connection between an employee and their employer is ongoing. Usually, workers will get training that is relevant to their position. 
  • Common workers whose occupations may include a broad range of responsibilities. Managers often play an instructive role in their staff’s daily activities. 
  • Insurance, pension plans, paid time off, transportation or travel reimbursement, emergency time off, etc., are all benefits that workers are eligible to get. 

Who Exactly Is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a third party that does work for a principal or customer under the terms of a contract. This might be a consultant, lawyer, accountant, engineer, or anybody else with a relevant professional degree.

They are independent contractors and are compensated as such. The customer has no say in how or if the job is done, so the contractor can use his best judgment.

Independent Contractor Key Differences

  • The contractor’s pay is based on the completion of each individual job. The contractor has several employers. The self-employed person relies on his own means. 
  • The location and timing of a job are entirely up to the contractor. Independent contractors submit invoices for their services instead of expecting a set pay. 
  • Any costs spent by an independent contractor while rendering their services must be covered by the contractor themselves. 
  • Contractors that operate independently are not subject to supervision and may choose their own schedules and methods of operation. 
  • It is within the purview of an independent contractor to assign work to others. There is no formal training for an independent contractor’s services. 
  • Contractors engaged independently are fully responsible for performing all tasks outlined in the project’s Scope of Work (SOW).
  • Clients can’t mandate work hours for independent contractors since they’re their own companies. You, the consumer, are under no need to provide any direction whatsoever.
  • Neither the timeliness nor the consistency of their work is anyone else’s responsibility except their own in accordance with the conditions of the contract.

Contrast Between Employee and Independent Contractor


  • Employee – To put it more simply, a full-time worker is someone who a single firm hires, and that company has entire control over the person’s working circumstances, including the worker’s work schedule, workspace, and other working conditions.

    According to the law, the worker is eligible to receive all of the benefits that come with having a W-2 employment status.
  • Independent Contractor – A self-employed worker who completes their job within the terms of a contract is referred to as a contractor. Contract employees, independent contractors, and freelancers are some of the other titles that are used to refer to contractors.

    A contractor is not an employee of the company that employs them but rather a distinct legal organization (such as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, or limited liability partnership) contracted for certain duties rather than an employee of the company that hires them.


  • Employee – The processing of applications submitted by individuals interested in employment falls within the purview of the Human Resources department. An offer of employment is extended to the applicant who was chosen.

    When an applicant accepts a position with the firm, the business will inquire for a variety of personal information, including the employee’s date of birth, marital status, and citizenship status, among other information.
  • Independent Contractor – A potential contractor will establish contact with the organization that will be using their services or benefiting from their efforts early on in the process. One of the potential providers may probably compose a proposal.

    A contract is signed between the company’s legal or procurement department and the contractor, and the contract comprises a statement of the work to be performed.


  • Employee – It is not possible to change a worker’s pay period unless a prior arrangement has been made and approved. There is a large variety of pay periods, the most common of which are weekly and monthly.

    If the employee’s normal pay day occurs on holiday, the check should be sent out as soon as possible on the following business day. This is in compliance with the laws of both the state and the federal government.
  • Independent Contractor – After an invoice has been received, the Accounts Payable department is responsible for providing payment to any third parties that are owed money.

    The contract or Statement of Job will include the payment terms and schedule, including whether payment is to be made upon completion of the work or at predetermined intervals. The great majority of businesses do not include contractors on their payrolls until it comes time to pay them.


  • Employee – When a worker is included as an employee on a company’s books, the firm is responsible for making wage and tax payments on the worker’s behalf (e.g., federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax).

    It’s not uncommon for a company to foot the bill for perks enjoyed by their staff. Employment benefits may range from those required by law, like health insurance, to those that employees voluntarily choose to get, like stock options.
  • Independent Contractor – A contractor would be paid an agreed-upon rate by the same company that does not withhold or remit any taxes in exchange for their services.

    Independent contractors are responsible for paying individual and self-employment taxes to the federal government. In addition, it is up to the individual to get their own health insurance and other benefits.


  • Employee – When a single firm recruits someone, that person is legally and ethically obligated to comply with all of the rules and processes that are in place at that company. Every company has its own set of policies and processes, which may change sometimes.

    This is true irrespective of whether or not the company in question has a human resources division. It is feasible for these guidelines and procedures to be executed somewhat differently by any individual business.
  • Independent Contractor – A contractor, on the other hand, is not forced to limit themselves to working for a single company; rather, they may provide their services to a number of different customers all at the same time.

    On the other hand, workers are expected to devote their time only to one company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some of the benefits of having employees?

Employees are essential for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they help carry out the company’s objective and have some influence on customers. They complete the task you’ve given them.

The fact that workers are the ones who are directly accountable for carrying out an organization’s objective is one of the primary reasons why employees are so vital to a company’s success.

How would you describe the daily routine at this company?

The employee life cycle (ELC) is a human resources model that records an employee’s growth during their time spent working for your firm. This model was developed in the 1980s.

It begins the moment a potential worker is made aware of your brand and goes all the way through the worker’s last day of employment at your company. The employee life cycle describes this arc of time in an individual’s career.

If a person feels optimistic about their work, what does it look like in practice?

Employees who are content in their positions have a feeling of fulfillment and achievement in their work, and they take pleasure in doing the duties associated with their occupations.

The decrease in stress brought about by this sensation of pleasure may, in turn, positively influence productivity. This feeling of importance produces a positive feedback loop, which in turn promotes a positive feedback loop.

Is there anything negative about being a contractor or freelancer?

Being an independent contractor comes with additional responsibilities, which is one of its cons. Self-employed people must cover the complete cost of their own health retirement, insurance savings, and their entire Medicare and Social Security tax contributions.

You may also be expected to foot the bill for the gear and supplies you need to do your job.

What does it truly entail to be able to call oneself an independent contractor?

A person who supplies their knowledge or professional skills for a contract that is for a limited time period but does not have the legal status of an employee is considered to be an independent contractor.

The contractors are allowed to pursue any other business interests they have in addition to their contract roles without the worry of facing any legal ramifications as a result of their actions.

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