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The term employee has no clear definition and is used differently in different contexts.


The term employee is often used synonymously with employee . Thus, in the collective agreements ( TVöD , TV-L , TV-H ) of the German public service workers workers and workers in the public service in Germany . These are also called collective bargaining employees . The historical distinction between workers with predominantly physical activities and employees who work predominantly mentally has been removed.

Employee representation law

In the personnel representation laws such as the Federal Personnel Representation Act ( Section 4 (1)), the term is the collective term for employees in the public service and civil servants .

Workplace Protection Act

Within the meaning of the Workplace Protection Act ( ArbPlSchG ), employees are employees who are employed for their vocational training , persons similar to employees, civil servants, judges , soldiers and those employed in workshops for the disabled .

Social security law

According to Section 7 (1) of Book Four of the Social Security Code , employment is salaried work , especially in an employment relationship . Clues for employment are an activity according to instructions and an integration into the work organization of the instructor. The demarcation from the self-employed is sometimes difficult. Other classification criteria can wage tax liability , no operational risk , entitlement to pay , vacation and sick leave one and the conclusion of the employment contract be. The classification of whether a person is employed or only pseudo-self-employed and is to be regarded as self- employed under social security law is made ex officio by the social security agency. Employers and employees cannot make any binding stipulations for the social security agency. The question of whether someone is to be classified as an employee or as a self-employed person is mainly linked to the question of compulsory insurance in various branches of social insurance , such as statutory health , pension , accident , unemployment and long-term care insurance .