Types of employment in the UK

What types of employment are there in the UK?

An individual’s rights will depend on their employment status; specifically whether they are an Employee, a Worker or a Self-employed Contractor.

A Worker is engaged on contract for services; not a contract of employment. No contract exists when a Worker is not on assignment and assignments and contracts can usually be terminated at any time by any party and with no notice. There is no obligation for a worker to be offered work or for the Worker to accept work.

An Employee has a contract of employment and will have the same basic rights as a Worker, but will have additional employment rights and responsibilities that don’t apply to Workers who aren’t Employees.

Why do we need different types of employment?

Different types of employment offer businesses the following benefits:

  • Coping with peaks and troughs in demand.
  • Providing additional seasonal staff.
  • Covering absences such as sickness and maternity.
  • Bringing in specialist skills for special projects.
  • Allowing a business to analyse whether there is a long term need for a position.