Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: introduction to PAYE: employer and contractor definition
An employer runs a business and employs staff, or is responsible for pension payments. They could, for example, be an individual, partnership, club, church, limited company or association. Limited companies are still employers even if they only have directors and no employees.
A contractor runs a business and sub-contracts out work to subcontractors; these are not employees of the contractor.
For more information on contractors - see DMBM524000.