Ask Difference

Employer vs. Employee — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 21, 2023
An employer is a person or organization that hires and pays individuals for work. An employee is an individual who works for an employer in exchange for compensation, such as wages or salary.
Employer vs. Employee — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Employer and Employee


Key Differences

An employer is typically a person, company, or organization that employs individuals to perform specific tasks in exchange for compensation. The employer holds the authority in the employment relationship and is responsible for providing wages, benefits, and a work environment. On the other hand, an employee is an individual hired by the employer to perform tasks or services in exchange for payment.
Employers usually have the ability to hire, fire, and determine the conditions of employment. They often set work schedules, provide tools and resources, and establish the code of conduct for the workplace. Employees, conversely, generally have less authority and are subject to the rules and conditions set by the employer. Their primary obligation is to perform the duties assigned to them to the best of their ability.
The legal responsibilities of employers often include paying taxes on behalf of the employees, providing safe work conditions, and adhering to labor laws. Employees have fewer legal obligations but are expected to follow company policies, fulfill their job responsibilities, and pay their income taxes.
In most cases, employers offer benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off as part of the employment contract. Employees usually receive these benefits as part of their compensation package, but it's not an obligation for all employers to provide such perks.

Comparison Chart

Role in Employment

Provides jobs and pays wages
Works for wages

Authority Level

Higher, sets terms of employment
Lower, follows terms of employment

Legal Responsibilities

Pays payroll taxes, provides safe work environment
Follows company policies, pays income taxes


Offers benefits like healthcare
Receives benefits

Contractual Relationship

Creates employment contracts
Agrees to employment contracts

Compare with Definitions


A person or entity that hires workers.
The employer announced a new hiring freeze.


A person hired to perform work for compensation.
The employee clocked in at 9 a.m.


The party responsible for paying wages.
The employer deposited my paycheck on time.


An individual subject to an employer's rules.
The employee adhered to the dress code.


A party offering work benefits.
The employer provides healthcare and retirement benefits.


A worker receiving wages or salary.
The employee received a bonus this year.


To provide work to (someone) for pay
Agreed to employ the job applicant.


A contributor to a company's operations.
The employee was essential to the project.


To engage the attention or activity of; occupy
Employed himself for an hour reading blogs.


A contractual party in an employment agreement.
The employee signed a non-compete clause.


To put (something) to use or service
Employed a pen to open the package.
Employed her skills in the new job.


A person who works for another in return for financial or other compensation.


To devote (time, for example) to an activity or purpose
Employed several months in learning Swahili.


An individual who provides labor to a company or another person.
One way to encourage your employees to work harder is by giving them incentives.


The state of being employed
In the employ of the city.


One employed by another.


(Archaic) An occupation.


A worker who is hired to perform a job


A person, firm or other entity which pays for or hires the services of another person.


One who employs another; as, an employer of workmen.


A person or firm that employs workers


The authority in an employment relationship.
The employer set the rules for workplace conduct.


An entity providing job opportunities.
The company is a major employer in the area.

Common Curiosities

What is an employer?

An employer is a person or organization that hires individuals for work in exchange for compensation.

What is an employee?

An employee is an individual who works for an employer in return for wages or salary.

Who has more authority, employer or employee?

The employer generally has more authority in the employment relationship.

What are the employer's tax responsibilities?

Employers usually have to pay payroll taxes and may have other tax obligations.

Do employees have legal obligations?

Employees are expected to follow company policies and pay income taxes.

Do employers have to offer benefits?

Offering benefits depends on the jurisdiction and employment contract but is generally not a legal requirement.

Do employees have the right to unionize?

In many jurisdictions, employees have the legal right to unionize.

Can an employee negotiate wages?

Employees often have the right to negotiate wages, depending on the employer and market conditions.

Are employees guaranteed job security?

Job security often depends on the employment contract and labor laws.

Can an employer change work conditions?

Generally, an employer can change work conditions unless restricted by a contract.

Can an employee refuse tasks?

An employee can usually refuse tasks that are unsafe or not in their job description.

What are typical employer-provided benefits?

Common benefits include healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Can an employer fire an employee without reason?

This depends on employment laws and contracts, but in at-will employment, generally yes.

What are the employee's rights?

Employee rights often include a safe work environment, fair wages, and the ability to report grievances.

Who creates the employment contract?

The employer usually drafts the employment contract.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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