2. Worker

A person is generally classed as a ‘worker’ if:

  • they have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (your contract doesn’t have to be written)
  • their reward is for money or a benefit in kind, eg the promise of a contract or future work
  • they only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work (‘subcontract’)
  • they have to turn up for work even if they don’t want to
  • their employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract or arrangement lasts
  • they aren’t doing the work as part of their own limited company in an arrangement where the ‘employer’ is actually a customer or client

Employment rights

Workers are entitled to certain employment rights, including:

They may also be entitled to:

Agency workers have specific rights from the first day at work.

Workers usually aren’t entitled to:

Casual or irregular work

If someone does casual or irregular work for a business and most of the statements below apply to them, it’s likely they’re a worker:

  • they occasionally do work for a specific business
  • the business doesn’t have to offer them work and they don’t have to accept it - they only work when they want to
  • their contract with the business uses terms like ‘casual’, ‘freelance’, ‘zero hours’, ‘as required’ or something similar
  • they had to agree with the business’s terms and conditions to get work (either verbally or in writing)
  • they are under the supervision or control of a manager or director
  • they can’t send someone else to do their work
  • the business deducts tax and National Insurance contributions from their wages
  • the business provides materials, tools or equipment they need to do the work

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