A worker is legally different to an employee and will have more limited employment rights.


A worker is someone who:

  • has a contract to do work (written or verbal)
  • and the contract requires that it is the individual personally who does the work
  • and the individual is not operating as a business in which the employer is actually their client or customer (i.e. that the individual is not genuinely in self-employment)


Individuals who have the status of employee will also be regarded as workers.


Any individual who meets this definition will be entitled to the rights of a worker regardless of the way their working relationship is described as a tribunal will look at the legal definition rather than any 'label' the employer or worker have put on the relationship.


The legal definition of a worker is defined in s230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

What rights does a worker have?

The table below gives you a summary of the rights workers have under employment legislation.

Statutory employment rights for workers.
Microsoft Excel Table 20.0 KB

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Zero increases by 26%

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures that show nearly 700,000 people work on zero hours contracts - up 26% from last year.  The problems caused by these contracts will require a significant change in the law.

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