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Communtity Law Manual | Starting & leaving a job | When you’re not an “employee”: Differences between employees, contractors and volunteers

When you’re not an “employee”: Differences between employees, contractors and volunteers

Employees

Who is an “employee”?

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 6

The rules and processes in the Employment Relations Act apply to employers, employees, and unions.

An “employee” is any person, whatever their age, who’s employed by an employer to do any work for hire or reward under a contract of service. “Contract of service” is the legal term used to describe the type of contract you work under if you’re an employee; by contrast, independent contractors work under a “contract for services”.

The Act covers all employees, whether they are:

  • full-time or part-time
  • permanent, casual or fixed-term
  • adult or young employees.

You’re also an “employee” if you are:

  • a homeworker – that is, you work for somebody else in your own home (other than working on the house or on its fittings or furniture), or
  • intending to work – that is, you’ve accepted a job offer but haven’t yet started the work.

Who’s not an “employee”?

Employment Relations Act 2000, s 6

You’re not an employee if:

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