Understanding Wills and EMployment Law

Advice and Direction

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What are the differences between an employee, a worker and being self-employed? 

The majority of people in work are employees. An employee is someone who is working under a contract of employment. An employee will usually be expected to do the work himself – this means he cannot send someone else to do the work for him. In addition, the employer can exert greater control over an employee than a worker or a self-employed individual. S o then what do we mean when we talk about employment rights Ireland nera?

The definition of ‘employee’ and ‘worker’ differs slightly from one area of legislation to another, but most of the rights that apply to a ‘worker’ also apply to an ‘employee’ even when referring to employee personal injury claims Ireland . However, not all of the rights available to employees are also available to workers. If someone is self-employed for tax purposes, they will normally be ‘self-employed’ for employment rights purposes. However, it is not always that straightforward. An employer may have labelled a certain individual as falling into a particular category, such as a consultant, but this does not necessarily mean that an individual is a consultant.

There have been numerous court cases focusing on whether or not someone is an employee or a worker or even self-employed. Typically these arise because there is a dispute (for tax purposes or over employment rights) as to which category an individual falls into. Generally, employers should not worry if they have labelled someone as an employee, treat them as an employee for tax purposes and ensure all the statutory rights are provided. However, problems can arise where employers assert that an individual is self-employed as there can be significant tax consequences if the individual is, in reality, an employee. 

This is because the employer would not have made the relevant tax and National Insurance contributions in respect of that person. Also, the employer may find that the individual has more rights than they thought (unfair dismissal protection and holiday pay etc.). Therefore it is important to be clear about an individual’s employment status. Employment status can be considered as a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum there are employees and at the other end there are the genuinely self-employed. Workers fall further towards the employee end of the spectrum, but the reality is that people can lie at various places on the spectrum depending on the exact nature of the contract and what happens on a day to day basis. 

The following summary is a very general way of describing what an employee is, what a worker is and what a self-employed individual is, things that are important to consider if you're asking can I claim for work related stress? Please bear in mind that this summary is generic and any individual’s status would need to be considered on the facts. In general terms, employers are more likely to have ownership and control over any intellectual property generated by their employees than by workers or by self-employed contractors. If an individual is likely to generate significant intellectual property, then it is vital to include a properly drafted intellectual property clause in their contract which deals with the ownership and control of any intellectual property.
  • Craigavon, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom