Employees and employers: what’s the difference?

Which rights you have depends on which status you have. Make sure it is always clear about the situation you’re working in, even if you have no legal residence.


An employee is someone who works for a employer (boss). An employer says when and where you have to work, pays you wages, provides you with materials to work with and checks your work. Another word for boss is employer.

Who is your employer?

Officially, your employer is the person who decides:

  • whether you’re given work
  • how much you’ll earn
  • how much you’re paid and who pays your wages
  • what you must do and when you must start and stop work
  • which materials you must work with
  • whether you have done your work well.

Important! Don’t mediate for your employer by searching for colleagues yourself and paying them. This makes you a stealth worker and you will lose all employment rights.

Be careful! If your employer suggests you work as a self-employed person, don’t do it! If you do, and your employer doesn’t respect your rights, it will be much more difficult to do something about it. If you have no legal residence, you’ll be even more vulnerable. An employer will also sometimes promise to give you legal residence in this way. This is impossible and this means they are lying to you.