Who I Am? An Employee, A Freelancer Or A Worker


It is a difficult task to decide someone's employment status, as there is no single legal definition.

There are three different types of working individuals:

  • An employee
  • A worker (who works on casual basis or in an agency)
  • Self employed (freelancer or contractor)

1. An employee:

At the present time, there is no single legal test to determine, if you are an employee or a worker but you are always likely to be an employee (whether on a permanent (open-ended) contract or on a fixed-term contract)

  • The employer provides the work, any tools and equipment for it and they decide how and when you do the work.
  • Usually you have a written contract
  • The legal definition of these (from case law, not from statute) are personal service, mutuality of obligation and control.

2. A worker:

This category is totally different comparison to an 'employee'. A worker is anyone who works for an employer under a contract of employment and performs the work personally (which can include some freelancers).

These workers are usually:

  • Agency workers
  • Short-term Casual Workers
  • Some freelancers and contractors

In addition, there are also home-workers(or Piece-Workers) who have more limited rights than normal “workers”.

3. Self-employed (freelancer or contractor):

  • You determine how and when you do the work within reason (known as Master/Servant Relationship)
  • You can hire helpers or replacements for you if you are unable to do the work
  • You are contracted to provide services to the Client/Employer over a certain period of time for an agreed fee and are not integrated into the company
  • You run your own business and take financial responsibility if it is successful or not, and provide the main items of equipment.
  • You may have several customers (employers) at one time (known as Economic Reality).

As it is clear that the job market is moving towards a contingent workforce, and that there are many benefits on both sides of the employer/employee line. Which industries are currently in top demand fro freelance talent?

The answer won't surprise you, as there are some positions which are conductive to the remote work environment. It includes:

  • IT/Technology
  • Writing
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Design and Multimedia
  • Administrative Support

In a nutshell, it depends on you that which sector you want to choose for your career. Although some of the average worker include the unpredictable income stream, job security and lack of benefits and offers many benefits too.