As a Community midwife I fall into being a “self-employed business” by default. I have all the risks and challenges of being self-employed but without access to all the real benefits. For instance, because I am contracted to a fixed price by legislation I do not have the ability to charge fees based on the value of the support and service provided. Usually a self-employed business will charge a price that covers, business costs, profit, on call and expected planned time off and reflects the value of the support and care provided to the recipients, in my case the woman and baby.

In stating the above however, to achieve true autonomy and choice of decision making I need to operate under a self-employed business model.

Self employed “What does this mean?”

I will:

  • Contract for services principally with the Ministry of Health (Section 88)
  • Have autonomy and control over work, time, location, availability
  • Purchase and work with my own equipment
  • Invoice my own fees (usually through my IT system)
  • Be responsible for filing and paying tax (Income and GST) directly to IR as well as ACC
  • Be responsible for managing my business risk
  • I have no one to answer to but myself
  • I have the freedom to work from anywhere at any time
  • I can balance working life with parenthood
  • I have the potential to earn more than I would have if I’d remained an employee
  • The success of my business depends on I alone

Employed “What does this mean?”

I will:

  • Have an Employment Agreement (contract of service)
  • Mainly be working for one entity ie. a DHB
  • Various leave entitlements (including annual, statutory and sick leave)
  • Employer will usually meet tax obligations
  • Have pre-agreed/set hours
  • Work under supervision and direction
  • Rights under employment laws
  • Be reimbursed for work related expenses