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Understanding Employment Classification

Learn how Senya operates as a platform for independent contractor substitutes to seek work opportunities
photo of a self-employed independent contractor

What is employment classification?

While there are a few different kinds of employment, there is an overarching distinction between those who are employed by a company or school and those who are self-employed, also known as independent contractors or "freelancers."

There are pros and cons to each classification or form of work. Individuals who are employed by a company or school typically have reliable hours, but they have little flexibility with the schedule and work assignments. Employees may be eligible for benefits, such as insurance and retirement, if they work the qualifying number of hours set by law and the employer's policies. Employers manage tax withholdings and issue a W-2 tax form for each year worked.

Independent contractors, on the other hand, are considered self-employed. Independent contractors get to set their own schedules and seek out work opportunities according to their skills and interests. Independent contractors secure their own insurance plans and retirement accounts as desired, and they set aside their own taxes. Since independent contractors often complete work for a variety of individuals and companies, they receive a 1099 tax form for each contract that earned $600.00 or more during the year.

Do substitutes work for Senya? What is their classification?

Senya does not employ substitute teachers. Rather, Senya is a technology platform designed for freelance substitutes to access job opportunities with schools in their communities. Schools partner with Senya to advertise (post) their substitute needs; the Senya platform displays these job postings, but Senya does not make assignments nor direct independent substitutes' schedules.

When you contract with Senya, you are given access to the platform, and you maintain all decision-making as to what work opportunities you wish to pursue. You choose your schedule, the hours you are willing to work, and the pay rates from schools that you are willing to accept.

You are also able to pursue contracts or work with other companies and schools. A hallmark aspect of being an independent contractor is your right to market yourself and seek work opportunities for greatest economic profit. Because you do not work for Senya, you are not restricted in any way from seeking opportunities outside of the platform. In fact, experience gained from jobs on the Senya platform can increase your marketability, and you are encouraged to leverage that as you pursue any other opportunities.

Is training required to work with Senya?

Because Senya works with independent contractors, there is no required training. Independent contractors are responsible for the skillsets that they market, and they are free to develop skills according to their needs and to align with the work opportunities that they want to pursue.

The platform does offer guidance for those who may be new to freelance substitute teaching, and all freelance substitutes who wish to access the platform must demonstrate that they meet state requirements to work in schools. The platform also offers resources and best practices policies, which are not required but may be useful for freelance substitutes who are interested in building their skillsets.

How long do freelance substitutes contract to work with Senya?

Senya contracts typically run for a school year, so freelance substitutes who contract near the beginning of the school year may be given access to the platform for roughly nine months; substitutes who contract later in the school year have access for the months that remain in the school year. Freelance substitutes sign a new contract if they wish to continue access to the platform upon each new school year.

Contracts with Senya are non-exclusive and can be terminated at any time by independent contractors without penalty. Independent contractors manage their own business initiative and are encouraged to pursue work opportunities within and outside of the Senya platform.

Does Senya provide regular pay?

Contracts with Senya allow freelance substitutes to access the platform for the defined period of the school year. However, income is dependent on the projects, or jobs, that substitutes decide to work. Substitutes who pursue opportunities on the platform more regularly are paid as often as weekly for completed work. However, the pay for other substitutes may be sporadic based on their being in business for themselves and marketing their services to others outside of the Senya platform.

Does Senya conduct any other business besides hosting schools and freelance substitutes?

Freelance substitute teachers play an important role in the success of Senya's platform, which facilitates a seamless way for schools and substitutes to connect on needs. However, Senya does have other services that it contracts to perform for schools which are integral to our business and that do not involve substitute teachers.

  • Senya provides absence management services to schools, tracking staff leave balances and absence approval processes.
  • Senya provides direct placement services, recruiting for specific certified and non-certified positions needed by schools.
  • Senya has other services and features that are that are under development, which will be directly marketed to schools.

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