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At first glance you could be forgiven for assuming that a worker is the same as an employee, however, these descriptions confer a different legal status on individuals. Each one has a different level of rights according to their status.
So how do you differentiate between the two, and what are the main differences in their legal rights?
Employee - There must be a contract of employment where the individual agrees to provide services or to serve another party. The contract may be oral or written.
Worker - There does not have to be a contract of employment, instead a wider definition applies. Essentially an agreement (oral or written) must exist in which the individual agrees to personally perform work or services for another party. The individual must also not be providing services as a professional or commercial business.
When determining whether an individual is an employee an Employment Tribunal will consider a number of factors including the level of control that any alleged employer exercises over the individual, how integrated into the business the individual is, and whether a mutuality of obligation exists. This means that there is a relationship between the two, resulting in the employer being obliged to provide work to the person and they must do the work.
Employees are afforded much greater legal protection than workers, this includes;
Workers (and employees) do however benefit from an entitlement to;
Pam Loch, Managing Partner of niche employment law practice, Loch Associates Employment Lawyers and Managing Director of HR Advise Me Limited.
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