Employee or Worker


There are two main categories of individuals covered by employment law – ‘employees’ and ‘workers’. Many rights apply only to employees but an important number apply to all workers. Some rights apply as soon as an individual starts work, others will depend on the completion of a qualifying period, for example, an employee must be employed for at least two years to qualify for redundancy pay.

All employees are workers but not all workers are employees.

In general, an ’employee’ is someone who works for an employer under the terms of a contract of employment, whether it is written down, agreed orally or implied by the nature of the relationship. Many casual workers are likely to be employees with short-term contracts.

A ‘worker’ is someone who works for an employer, whether under a contract of employment or not, who provides a personal service e.g. a casual worker, agency worker, or some freelance workers.

Workers and employees should always receive a Health & Safety Induction when starting work, all employers are required to carry out this induction on new staff members.

For the most part, self-employed people or businesses to which an employer sub-contracts are not defined as workers.

Click here to go back to the menu.

change text size

Sub Pages