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Worker

Key Points

  • Certain employment rights are restricted only to ‘employees’ as defined in section 230(1) Employment Rights Act 1996. The distinction between an employee and someone who is genuinely self employed has grown more difficult to distinguish with the statutory creation of a ‘worker’ status.
  • A ‘worker’ is entitled to a number of statutory protections, including entitlement to the National Minimum Wage; protection against less favourable treatment/ being subjected to a detriment/ dismissal on ground of discrimination (see the full card for a more extensive list of protections).
  • There are two main, very similar, definitions of "worker" in the employment legislation.  One is in TULRCA 1992 s.296 and the other is in the Employment Rights Act 1996 s.230(3), the Working Time Regulations 1998, reg 2 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 s.54(3)
  • Both definitions include individuals working under a contract of employment (ie anyone who is within the statutory definition of employee). Both also include self-employed people if they are personally providing work or services under a contract for another party to the contract (other than for customers or clients of any profession or business carried on by the individual).
  • Brexit effect - unless otherwise stated, the position in relation to any EU legislation and decisions as set out in this card is as it was understood at the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020. For information on the status of EU decisions and legislation as of 31st December 2020 please see Statement on impact of Brexit on Emplaw Online content
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