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Employee or worker

Two frequently used terms in the labor market are employee and worker. They explain how a person is employed. The main difference between an employee and a worker lies in the nature of the job and the resulting rights and obligations.


A white-collar worker usually works in a position that requires higher qualifications. Employees in offices often work, have administrative tasks or work at management level. They normally receive a fixed monthly salary and usually work full-time. Usually, employees have an employment contract that sets out specific details of their duties, rights and obligations. They are also entitled to paid vacation, health insurance and other social benefits. In Germany and Switzerland, there are clear legal regulations for employees that protect their rights and duties. The representation of employees' interests is significantly influenced by trade unions and works councils.


A worker is usually employed in a physical or manual job. Workers often work in factories, on construction sites or in other areas involving physical labor. They are usually paid an hourly wage and often work in shifts. Employees can work either full-time or part-time. They are also entitled to paid vacation, health insurance and other benefits. In Germany and Switzerland, blue-collar workers are also subject to specific labor laws that regulate their working conditions. Workers' unions and employee representatives are committed to workers' rights and negotiate collective agreements to define their working conditions. The differences between white-collar and blue-collar workers are outlined.

The main difference between white-collar and blue-collar workers lies in the nature of the job: usually white-collar workers have a position with more demanding administrative tasks, while blue-collar workers perform physical labor. Blue-collar workers are often paid by the hour, while white-collar workers receive a fixed monthly salary. Depending on the type of employment, employment contracts and labor regulations may also vary. 

White-collar and blue-collar workers have rights and obligations.

Rights and obligations in accordance with the legal provisions in Germany and Switzerland apply to both salaried and hourly workers. These include the right to paid vacation, health insurance, occupational health and safety and collective agreements. It is necessary that employees and workers fulfill their contractual obligations and comply with the applicable regulations. They can turn to trade unions, works councils or labor courts in the event of conflicts or questions about their rights.