An independent contractor is a person who works under a contract for services and is not under the control of the client or employer. Independent contractors are generally free to work for multiple clients or employers and set their own hours and work methods. Independent contractors include professionals like doctors, lawyers and accountants.
An independent contractor may be differentiated from an employee who is a person who works for an employer under an employment contract in exchange for compensation and benefits, some of which are mandated by law. These statutory benefits and rights include a minimum wage, rest breaks and paid holidays, and entitlement to maternity or paternity leave.
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