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Published: April 10, 2020

Last Updated: February 8, 2021

CRA recognizes four tests for the determination of the nature of the work relationship

Businesses often want to retain independent contractors instead of hiring employees to avoid payroll taxes. The Canada Revenue Agency (Canadian income tax department) recognizes four tests for the determination of the nature of the work relationship between a business entity and the worker who provides services to it, as established by case law. They are: “control” test, “ownership of tools” test, “chance of profit or risk of loss” test, and the “integration” test. The risk of taking the position that a person is not an employee is that the business will be reassessed and will have to pay amounts that should have been withheld, as well as penalties and interest.


"This article provides information of a general nature only. It is only current at the posting date. It is not updated and it may no longer be current. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in the articles. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer."


Some jurisdictions expressly include domestic or family violence within occupational health and safety legislation, while others do not. For example, in Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act includes a provision for “domestic violence” in section 32.0.4.

The four factors (age, length of service, character of employment, availability of similar employment) are now commonly referred to as the “Bardal factors”. These factors have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada as the proper method to be used when calculating a dismissed employee’s reasonable notice period.

Workplace violence and harassment can be defined as any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment. Generally speaking workplace violence or harassment includes: Threatening behaviour – such as shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects. Verbal or written threats – any expression of an intent to inflict harm. Verbal abuse – swearing, insults or condescending language. Physical attacks – hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking.

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