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Types of Employment in the United Kingdom

There are three main types of employment in the United Kingdom. They are self-employed, employee, and worker. Each type of employment comes with its own rights and responsibilities, which have been outlined below. For further information on types of employment, you can visit or


You might be self-employed if you:

  • You run a business for yourself and are responsible for its success or failure.

  • You are not paid through PAYE.

  • You can decide what work to do and when to do it.

  • You can hire someone else to do the work.

  • You use your own money to buy assets for the business, cover running costs and provide your own business equipment.

Note: You can be both self-employed and an employee at the same time. For example, you might be an employee in the daytime and run your own business in the evenings and/or on the weekends.


You are an employee if you:

  • Work under a contract of employment.

  • You are required to work regularly unless you’re on leave.

  • You are expected to work a minimum number of hours and expect to be paid for that work.

  • Someone else is responsible for assigning your workload.

  • Your contract of employment uses terms like “employer” and “employee”.

  • As an employee, your employer will usually pay your tax for you.


You might be considered a worker if you:

  • Have a contract or agreement to perform services or work for a reward (money or benefit in kind).

  • You have a limited right to send someone else to do the work.

  • You have to turn up for work whether you want to or not.

  • You aren’t doing the work as part of your own company where your employer is considered a client or customer.


Your rights will vary depending on which of the above categories you fall under.

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