I am in need of legal advice regarding my employment contracts. I am working part-time at an architecture firm while in

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Customer: I am in need of legal advice regarding my employment contracts. I am working part-time at an architecture firm while in my final year of masters at university. I was hired nearly two years ago as a 'contractor', however, I have now realized I may have been an 'employee' the entire time, however, they are trying to keep me on rollover fixed-term contracts without any PAYE, employee benefits. I went to the Citizen's Advice Bureau, and they said I potentially had a case to claim back employee annual leave pay, etc. They said my situation sounded similar to the Leota case. It came to my attention that my contract had actually expired last July, and have been working for them with no contract. I invoice my hours, however, while they verbally call me a contractor it actually never says this anywhere on my contract. I had asked to see a copy of my current contract and they realized it was out of date and are pressuring me into signing another fixed contract which works out less than minimum wage (as a 'contractor'). Eager to speak to someone ASAP regarding my rights and how I can approach receiving compensation for any holiday pay etc I may be entitled to. I wish to keep working here if I can rectify the contract situation, so am looking for advice as to how I should proceed with future contracts etc.
JA: Have you filed a wage-and-hour claim for unpaid wages?
Customer: No, because I have been operating as a 'contractor' so technically my wages haven't not been paid. It is the things I should have been entitled to as an employee (which my contract seems to state) even though verbally they call me a contractor
JA: The Employment Lawyer will be able to walk you through that. Where are you located? Wage-and-hour laws vary by state.
Customer: I am in New Zealand... I found your website on google
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They have also just made all the graduates redundant...so said they wanted to hire me full time but couldn't employ me full-time as a 'graduate' as they got rid of the role in a restructure that meant they could make grads redundant. So would keep me on the same fix-term roll over contract without PAYE
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 1 hour 2 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi
I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please give me a minute to read the question

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The problem will be that you would need to have some conflict with your employer to bring a remedy which would be to claim a personal grievance for the failure to recognise your role as an employee rather than a contractor. They could face issues with the failure to pay your PAYE for example or your student loan. So before you take any steps to take them on, all you would need to do that on the basis that they would possibly find an excuse to get rid of you.

But it is very likely you were in reality an employee and therefore should have had sick leave and holiday pay

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