EMPLOYEE: As a rule, an employee is an individual who works according to a contract of employment.
Note: You can get classed as an employee in employment law but have a different status for the purposes of taxation.
Thus, employers have a duty to work out the correct employee status for their workers in employment law and in tax law.
Employee Employment Rights
The same protection and worker employment rights apply to all employees. But, not all workers get classed as employees. Thus, you get extra employee employment rights and responsibilities such as:
- The United Kingdom National Minimum Wage.
- Protection against unlawful or unauthorised deductions from pay or wages.
- The statutory minimum level of paid holiday entitlements.
- The statutory minimum length of rest breaks.
- The right not work more than 48 hours in an average week and the choice to opt out of this right.
- Protection against cases of unlawful discrimination at work.
- Protection after ‘workplace whistleblowing‘ (reporting a disclosure in the public interest).
- Protection against less favourable treatment if you only work part-time.
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Statutory maternity pay, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave and pay (workers do not get leave).
- The minimum notice period if your employment will end (e.g. if they get dismissed from work).
- Full protection against unfair dismissal.
- The right to ask for flexible working arrangements.
- Time off work for emergency leave.
- Statutory Redundancy Pay
Note: To qualify for some employee rights you need a minimum length of continuous employment. As a rule, an employment contract states the terms of the qualification period.
Employment Status of an Employee
All other things being equal, an individual is more likely to have employee employment status if some or all these apply:
- You must work regular hours unless you are on leave (e.g. sick leave, vacation, or maternity leave).
- The expectation is for you to work a minimum number of hours and get paid for the time worked.
- A business deducts National Insurance contributions and tax from your pay or wages.
- A manager or a supervisor handles your workload. Thus, they have the responsibility of saying when and how a piece of work should get done.
- As a rule, you cannot delegate your work to another person (without permission).
- You have entitlement to statutory holiday pay, contractual or Statutory Sick Pay, and maternity or paternity pay.
- You usually work at the premises of the business or an address specified by the business.
- A business provides you with equipment, materials, or tools so you can perform the work.
- You can join the workplace pension scheme.
- You work only for the business. Extra work is completely different from your work for the business if you do have another job.
- Your contract sets out some procedures for redundancy.
- The disciplinary procedures and grievance procedures of a business apply to you.
- You have a contract, a statement of terms and conditions, or an offer letter. It uses terms like ’employer’ and ’employee’ and described as an employment contract.
Note: You should work out whether you are self-employed if many of these do not apply to you. There are severe penalties for having the wrong employment status. Employers, and individuals, may need to pay any unpaid tax or lose entitlement to benefits.