Employee or Dependent Contractor



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In order to access the protections and rights of the Employment Standards Act, an individual typically needs to be considered an “employee” as opposed to an “independent contractor”


​Reasonable Notice of Termination

Importantly, independent contractors are excluded from legislation relating to rights upon termination and reasonable notice. The dividing line between these two types of workers has been developed over many years, and is still evolving today. “Dependent contractor” is a third category of worker that must be considered. Dependent contractors are entitled to reasonable notice of termination for their services, just like employees, yet they act in many ways like independent contractors. Dependent contractor status is to be considered a “carve out” from the non-employment category and does not affect or reduce the scope and applicability of existing employment tests. Essentially, an individual may be a dependent contractor when a traditional employment relationship does not exist, yet some of the indicia of independent contractor status are missing. In determining whether an individual is a dependent contractor, and therefore entitled to reasonable notice of termination, the courts will first determine whether they are an employee or a contractor. The courts will ask: Who supplies the equipment? What degree of control does the employer have over the work? How is the worker paid? Can the worker subcontract out their work? Who bears the benefit of profit and the risk of loss? Is the relationship exclusive? What did the parties intend?

​If the worker is a contractor, then the courts consider whether they are an independent or dependent contractor. Exclusivity is determinative is making this decision. This means that if the worker is only allowed to deal with one employer, they are dependent on that employer and therefore are owed reasonable notice. As with a typical employment relationship, if there is cause for dismissal there is no obligation to provide reasonable notice upon termination of the relationship. See Mckee v. Reid’s Heritage Homes Ltd., 2009 ONCA 916 and Boettcher v. Stremecki (1980), 25 A.R. 372 (Q.B.) for relevant cases. Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice. It is general information about the law. If you require legal advice and assistance in an employment matter, please contact the experts at Ball Professional Corporation.


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Google Reviews

Steven Wang
Steven Wang
19:58 18 Mar 19
Stacey was the third lawyer that I had hired to represent me, after the previous two didn't achieve anything for me. Stacey is very different. He is not only the author of Canadian Employment Law with profound knowledge and experience, he is also the most efficient one, direct to the point. He is the toughest one, well known by HR people, and he takes care of his client all by himself. There is no junior lawyers under him. That's the big difference comparing with other big employment law firms on Google, where I could only meet with a young lawyer with little experience. After he spoke with me for 45 minutes, he found the best way to break through. He didn't need to ask for a lot of document and he didn't bill hours to review them. His fee structure is aligned with his client's best interest. My problem was solved very quickly with a great result, and I only have to meet with him twice and exchange some emails. He's not just a tough fighter and negotiator, he got great strategy to make a deal. He answered my emails during the holidays. He comes in the office very early, and we had a conference call at 7am in the morning when we need to make a quick decision. To me, he is the best employment lawyer, a patient teacher and a friend. I strongly recommend him to those who need help.
Aiden Nix
Aiden Nix
01:13 06 Apr 19
Stacey was super helpful and increased my settlement a significant amount. He is very busy so you have to chase him down a bit but that is minor issue compared to all of the positives. Overall if you need a good labour lawyer then talk to him right away. He is THE lawyer to go to in Ontario!Thanks Stacey!
Sergei R
Sergei R
05:01 06 Dec 18
My experience with Stacey R. Ball was very positive. His fees are reasonable and value I received for the money was outstanding. Luckily, after his advice my situation was resolved almost amicably. You will not believe how reasonable some people can become after they start suspecting you have a good lawyer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you suspect you might need a lawyer in the future because of some developing situation at work, I highly recommend you wait no more and talk to Stacey.
Danny T
Danny T
18:34 26 Feb 19
Stacey has recently represented me. He’s patient, but to the point which I can appreciate. No fluff. He worked quickly and even responded during his holidays. Definitely highly recommended.
Alexa Arsenault
Alexa Arsenault
19:36 01 Nov 18
If I could give Stacey Ball 30 stars I would! Stacey was right on the “ball” when it came to my legal matter. I called his office and his efficient staff scheduled me for an appointment the next day. He’s a great listener and comes to the point quickly, confidently, and succinctly. He explained best and worst case scenarios and dealt with my matter without delay. He was successful in concluding my legal matter to my satisfaction and met all my expectations. I highly recommend Stacey for all your legal matters.Alexa
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