Employment Status – What Type of Worker am I?

Most people that work in the UK are employees and will have full employment rights, however this is not always the case. If you work through an agency or work for yourself you may not be an employee in the legal sense of the term. Thanks to different terminology within EU legislation the UK has 3 types of ‘worker’ they are;

  1. Employed
  2. Self-Employed
  3. Worker

It is important to know which category you fit in as the rights available to you are different depending on how you are classified.  

Employed Most people are employed, that is they have an employment contract or Statement of Terms and Conditions and are classed as employees. Lawyers will describe the relationship as Master and Servant and say that there is a contract of service. This type of employee will have income tax and National Insurance deducted from their wages and paid directly to HMRC. You may be employed on full-time, part-time or even zero hour’s contracts, but in all cases you would be an employee. Employees have the most rights in employment law.

Self-Employed To be genuinely self-employed you will have your own business, your will invoice the person who commissions your work and you will pay your own income tax and National Insurance. You will not have any rights to holiday pay or sick pay and no real rights in employment law. In this category you are working on a contract for services.

Worker This is a situation between the two and you may not even realise that you are a ‘worker’. You could be an agency worker or a sub-contractor. People who fall into this category have some rights in employment law and should be paid for annual holidays among other things. If you are unsure about your employment status you can use the query form or give us a call and we will be able to explain which group you fall into. More information about your employment status can be found here under Employed, self-employed or worker.