Employment status for employees

Employment status is not always straightforward and, where issues arise, the specific situation needs to be carefully assessed. Your employment contract will not always be conclusive, as in any dispute, the employment tribunal would look at your actual day to day working relationship with your employer.

Currently, there are three categories of working defined by employment law. The distinctions between each are important, as different levels of rights and protections are afforded to each category.

We have set out below a short summary of the key features of each, but we have to highlight that this summary should be considered alongside formal legal advice. You can contact our employment team on: [email protected]

1. Employees

An employee is defined as “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) a contract of employment.”

You are likely to be an employee if:

Employees are entitled to a wide range of rights such as protection from discrimination,  Statutory Sick Pay, statutory leave, minimum notice periods and the right to request flexible working. Employees who have over two years’ service have additional rights, such as unfair dismissal protection and entitlement to redundancy pay.

2. Workers

A worker is defined as: “an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under): a contract of employment, or any other contract… whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally…”

You may be a worker if:

Workers are entitled to employment rights including National Minimum Wage, paid holidays, and protection against discrimination.

3. Self-employed

You are likely to be self-employed if:

Be aware that if you are a contractor, you may be still be classed as a worker or employee if you are employed by an agency.

A self-employed individual will not have the wide range of employment rights. However, they will still have protection for health and safety and may be afforded protection against discrimination in certain circumstances.

What can I do if I think my employment status should be different?

In the first instance, it may be worth approaching your employer for an informal discussion about your concerns. If you feel the issue is still unresolved, you can consider raising a formal grievance or pursuing a complaint in the tribunal and we can assist with all of these steps.

In any event, determining your employment status can prove tricky and as it has a significant impact on your employment law rights, it is important to seek expert advice. You can contact our employment law solicitors below for more details.

Our Employment status for employees Team

Unsure who to contact? Make a general enquiry:

Newbury Thatcham Maidenhead London Windsor Swindon
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