Is It Okay to ask if a Service Provider’s Employee is a Subcontractor?

More Time for You Owners - Craig and PamMore Time for You uses our own employees.  There are two primary and different ways that companies conduct business regarding employees.  The original way that it worked was the parent company hired people who worked directly for the company, were paid each week, and had their taxes withheld for the state and federal governments.

 The second way is a form of job brokering where one company gets the work and farms it out to another company.  Sometimes the other company does the same thing and retains a profit, too.  Someone in the tier is responsible for insurance and taxes, but you won’t know that if you trade with a party that is using subcontractors.

 It is certainly okay to ask if the people who are working at your home or business are subcontractors.  From a liability standpoint, you may be tagged as the responsible person if an accident happens to a subcontractor on your premises.  Homeowner’s policies do not always cover workers from an established business.

 From the employer’s side, when the person doing the job doesn’t work directly for you, you lose a great deal of control over the quality of the finished product.  The man who signs the checks is the one the worker listens to the most.

 It is not to say that if you have subcontractors on your premises that you will receive a poor quality job.  It should be your decision to allow the service provider to conduct business that way when you are paying for the service.

 Large service work is conducted with subcontractors and employees.  Under such conditions, insurance and taxes are accounted for so that the owner is protected should anything go wrong.  The subcontractor has a supervisor who answers to the service providers directly so that controls are in place to be sure the work is done properly.

 That arrangement works well in big business, but it isn’t the best way for some of the services you may need.  If there are people coming to your home on a regular basis to clean or do repairs, you want to be comfortable with them and you need to be able to trust the workers.  It’s a lot easier to have trust when you understand who works for whom.

 Never feel that it is wrong to ask questions of anyone who comes on your property representing a person or company you have hired.  They owe it to you to explain who they are and what their relationship to the parent company is.

Leave a Reply