Updated October 29, 2020:

A personal services contract can come in a variety of forms, but all must include a performance of action instead of a supply of goods. Small businesses hire contractors to finish various services, and certain government agencies will contract companies when necessary. Contracting with a government not only fosters a relationship between that agency and the company but between the government and a company’s employees.

A personal services contract can be summarized by an employee-employer relationship it fosters between a contractor and a contractor’s personnel team and the government. Government agencies are usually required to get employees via direct hiring, through appointment, or other procedures mandated under civil service laws. Getting a personal services contract, on the other hand, gets around such laws unless Congress has authorized the acquisition of such services via contract.

A government agency cannot give personal service contracts unless a statute authorizes the agency to engage in such contracts. An employee/employer relationship within a service contract happens when, stemming from contract terms or administrative manner, the contractor personnel must adhere to continuous control and supervision of government employees or officers.

Personal Service Qualities

Take note of the following qualities when assessing a personal services relationship:

  • Does the performance take place on a worksite?
  • Are the services rendered by a contractor related to the accomplishments of an agency’s function or primary mission?
  • Are the primary equipment and tools furnished via a government agency?
  • Are comparable services being conducted in a similar agency via civil service workers?
  • Does the service being provided require government direction or supervision of some kind?
  • Will the requirement of such services last beyond a single year?

Regarding intermittent or temporary duties, take note of the following:

  • The attainment of services will benefit national defense
  • DOD personnel members with pertinent skills that are not readily available
  • A non-personal services agreement is not practicable

The consequences and impact of unlawful service contracting may vary with each situation. Such consequences could come in the form of:

  • Breach of the Anti Deficiency Act (ADA). Such violations entail accepting a voluntary service for the U.S., or the employment of personal services that are not permitted by law, except for emergency situations pertaining to the protection of life or personal property.
  • Inspector/agency investigation
  • Disciplinary or administrative measures

Contractor Qualities

Individuals who perform direct work in your personal life, or for your company, but are not considered employees, are known as independent contractors. They may perform work in the following areas:

  • Place of business
  • Your personal home
  • From their personal office or home

Non-business personal service contracts could include:

  • Shoppers
  • Drivers
  • Assistants
  • Chefs
  • Pet sitters

Personal service contracts mandate that the person hired completes the assigned work. For instance, if you hire a graphic artist to form a logo for your invention, he cannot have an apprentice perform the work without your approval. Designing a logo is a common project, and that artist’s vision is unique. Therefore, you paid for that unique vision alone.

Regarding government agencies, a personal services agreement with a government agency may be the Department of Defense hiring a security company to safeguard contractors working overseas. Such contracts must adhere to government rules to avoid agency violations of civil service regulations and rules.

For instance, if a government agency uses continuous control and invokes a great deal of control over contracted employees, such as dictating where they could work, or how to perform various aspects of the job, the contract could be designated as an employee.

Personal Service Contract Variation

A personal services contract can come in the form of a family caregiver contract, and it is a popular planning choice pertaining to Medicaid. The Florida courts stated that Florida home laws mandate nursing homes to offer a little over two hours of actual care for each resident each day, meaning that nursing home residents may spend most of a day without personal care.

This is where a personal service contract comes into play. It plays a role between a Medicaid patient and an assigned caregiver for various services not covered by skilled personnel. For instance, services could include consulting with lawyers, going to doctor appointments, advocating on behalf of the patient, driving a patient to appointments or events, among other duties.

A caregiver may be a family member, but anyone can be a caregiver, with or without experience or training.

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