How to determine an employee’s rights
An individual’s employment rights depend on their ’employment status’. Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, there are three primary types of employment status: employee, worker, or self-employed.
Employment status definitions
Employee: An employee is someone who works under an employment contract, which is an agreement that states the following:
- Employment conditions
Note that employees are considered to have an employment contract as soon as someone accepts a job offer —this doesn’t need to be written down.
To find out more about employment contracts, take a look at the government’s website.
Worker: This category includes employees and also individuals with contracts other than ‘employment contracts’. These are often called ‘contracts of services’, which agree to a continuous relationship and provision of services until one of the parties ends it. Examples include casual workers and agency workers.
Self-employed: Employment law doesn’t cover individuals who work for themselves. However, all UK citizens are protected against discrimination of protected characteristics.
Self-employed individuals may also be protected by the rights and responsibilities set out by the terms within the contracts for the services they are providing.