Do independent contractors get paid vacation?

Find out if independent contractors are entitled to PTO.

Independent contractor agreement with pen lying on top.

There are many benefits of hiring independent contractors—such as less overhead and access to a global talent pool—but you mustn’t overlook the differences when compared to part-time and full-time employees.

While companies can legally provide employees with paid vacation, the same doesn’t hold true for contractors. Independent contractors don’t get paid time off. However, since a contractor is not an employee, they have the right to take time off at their discretion.

Not sure if you should bring on your next all-star as a contractor or employee? Wondering if you need to convert an existing contractor to full-time employment? Find out using our Contractor vs. Full-Time Analyzer.

The risk of worker misclassification

As an HR professional, misclassification of an employee or contractor is one of your biggest fears. This mistake can result in IRS penalties, as well as the affected individual seeking back pay and other benefits.

If you have concerns about whether you’ve misclassified a worker, here are some questions to answer:

  • Do you control where and when the person works?
  • Do you provide training on how to perform tasks?
  • Have you requested that the individual only works for you?
  • Do you provide other benefits, such as medical insurance?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you probably have an employee, not a contractor. 

Not to worry, we can help you convert your contractor to an employee, so you can avoid misclassification risks altogether. Get started by using our Contractor vs. Full-time employee analyzer tool.

How independent contractors take time off

At this point, you realize that there’s no such thing as PTO for contractors. But that doesn’t mean these individuals work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They need time off, too.

By understanding how your contractors work and the steps they take to remain financially stable, you’re able to provide them with projects that suit both their personal life and career. When you’re on the same page as your 1099 contractors, they’re more likely to take time off. And that generally results in improved performance, enhanced efficiency, and less stress.

Are you seeking a better way to manage contractors? If so, learn more about our contractor management tools for signing, onboarding, and paying workers.

About Oyster

Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, hire, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.

Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.

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