| Commentary

(1) Definition

| Commentary

B.     Employees

(1)     Definition

A satisfactory definition of 'employee' has proved elusive. Even as basic an idea as that the contract is an agreement to trade work for wages is not always crystal clear because the payment of wages as such (although in practice a central part of most such contracts) is technically not a prerequisite for the existence of employment (see AII [142.01]). An employee is one who serves, in the sense that he puts himself or herself and their labour at the disposal of another (their 'employer'), in return for some remuneration in cash or kind. The resulting contract is called a contract of employment. But it is difficult to define absolutely the degree of submission necessary to constitute 'employment'; and in any event not everyone who serves is necessarily an employee in the narrowest sense.

One way of putting it is this. There are some kinds of workers who enjoy a peculiar status: apprentices, Crown employees, Parliamentary staff, some officeholders and so forth. Leaving those aside, workers may generally (though there are exceptions) be divided into two classes: employees and independent contractors. The employee undertakes to serve; the contractor does not. The employee sells his or her

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