The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Office-holders
  • Characteristics of office-holders
  • Office-holders as employees or workers for purposes of statutory rights
  • Office-holders and equality rights
  • Issues in respect of particular types of office-holder
  • Police
  • Police officers
  • Police cadets
  • Police support staff
  • Religious ministers and priests
  • More...


IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and IP completion day—implications for employment lawyers.

This Practice Note looks at the characteristics of an office-holder, whether they can also be employees or workers, the specific equality rights that they have and the issues that arise in respect of police, religious ministers and priests, judges and directors.

Characteristics of office-holders

An office-holder is generally a person that is appointed to a position, often by a company or other organisation, but who does not necessarily have a contract in respect of that position. Examples of appointments that may result in office-holder status are:

  1. statutory appointments, such as registered company directors or secretaries, board members of statutory bodies, or crown appointments

  2. appointments under the internal constitution of an organisation, such as club treasurers or trade union secretaries

  3. appointments under a trust deed, eg trustees

  4. ecclesiastical appointment, eg church ministers

An office-holder's rights and duties are defined by the nature of the office

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