A. A written employment agreement sets out clearly what the relationship is between the parties, what is expected of the employee, what the employer's obligations are, and what the consequences will be if the employee fails to perform his or her job duties. It is always a good idea to have a written agreement, and in some countries, such as New Zealand, it is required by law.
A. There are some economic advantages in hiring independent contractors. Your employer payroll deductions will decrease, and you'll save on employee benefits. But there are also some disadvantages. It's a lot easier to garner a sense of loyalty and commitment with permanent employees than with independent contractors. There is also better continuity in work flow if the same people are working on the same tasks regularly.
There are also many factors to consider in determining whether a person's role is actually that of an independent contractor or an employee. Any misclassification could mean that the employer is on the hook for taxes, payroll deductions, interest and additional penalties.