Even if you call someone a contractor and have no agreement in place, the reality is that if they are working for you they may still be your employee.
To have a proper independent contractor relationship, a contract should be in place that clearly outlines that that is the relationship between the parties. Employers sometimes prefer having independent contractors because they have fewer obligations to a contractor, are not responsible for taxes or deductions, and can end the relationship at any time according to the terms of the contract.
However, because of this power courts are hesitant to simply assume that a person is an ‘independent contractor’ without clear evidence. Unless it is written in clear language, with both parties agreeing to the relationship, that person is still for all intents and purposes an employee. Even if an independent contractor agreement looks to be letter perfect, only a court or the Canada Revenue Agency can properly assess the relationship and determine that a person is truly an independent contractor, so hiring independent contractors is always a bit of risky business. Learn more about independent contractors here.