Employment status and employment rights

Guidance on employment status for HR advisers, and to help individuals and businesses understand which employment rights apply to them.



Employment status affects everyone who works. Pay, leave and working conditions can all depend on employment status.

People with different employment statuses have different rights set out in law. The rights are designed to protect individuals. Most of the rights are compulsory, and normally can’t be signed away.

The detailed guidance complements the existing GOV.UK Employment status guidance, and provides practical advice and examples for HR professionals on:

  • employment status and how it determines the employment rights individuals are entitled to and for which employers are responsible
  • factors determining an individual’s employment status
  • special circumstances and recent developments in the labour market
  • how employment status should be determined for different sectors
  • where to go for further information

There are 2 additional pieces of guidance for:

  • individuals, to help them understand their employment status so that they know their rights, can have informed discussions with their employer about them, and can take steps to claim them and have them enforced where necessary
  • employers or engagers, to help them understand individuals’ employment status so they comply with the law, helping ensure individuals receive the rights they are entitled to, and to avoid unnecessary disputes and associated costs
Published 26 July 2022