Employees and self-employed contractors have different rights The term "employee" does not include self-employed people who work for others under contracts to do particular jobs or services. These people are often referred to as contractors or independent contractors.
The law is different for self-employed contractors and this handbook does not have any information about the rights and obligations of self-employed contractors or the people who contract with them.
Sometimes it is not clear whether a person is an employee or a self-employed contractor.
Where a person is engaged as a self-employed contractor but thinks that he or she is really an employee, then he or she can ask the Employment Court to decide what the real nature of the relationship is. If someone asks the Court to do that, then others in the same position may also agree to have their names included in the case.
The Court will not just look at how the parties have described the arrangement. It will look at a number of other factors as well. It will make a decision on the person's status on the basis of the real nature of the relationship. The decision will apply only to those people named in the Court case.
If someone is engaged as a self-employed contractor and is happy with that, then the Employment Court cannot consider the matter.
If all or most of these features are present in a work relationship, it is likely to be an employment relationship between employer and employee:
If all or most of the following features are present in a work relationship, it is likely to be a contract for services involving a self-employed contractor: