Employees: what are they and what rights do they have?

Last updated: 05 Mar 2020

Employees are employed under a contract of employment and will usually be working in a typical employment pattern.

How can we tell if someone is an employee?

For someone to be an employee, they must undertake work which their employer must provide. If the employer is not obliged to provide work and the person is not obliged to undertake any work, there is unlikely to be a contract of employment.

For example, if an individual is not obliged to turn up for work, and the employer has no obligation to provide work for periods of time, they are unlikely to be an employee (although they may still be a worker).

What rights do employees have?

Employees are entitled to the full range of statutory employment rights including:

  • unfair dismissal
  • redundancy
  • the right to a written statement of particulars of employment
  • not to be discriminated against
  • all the rights of workers.

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