The answer to the question of whether a partner can also simultaneously be an employee of his partnership has long been considered to be settled law. However, the introduction of limited liability partnerships (LLPs) in 2001 has not only raised the new question of whether LLP members can also be employees but has, in doing so, reopened the question of the employment status of partners, questions which now need to be viewed in the context of the widespread practice of having both equity and other types of partner/member. Furthermore, with much legislation now giving rights to ‘workers’ rather than employees, the question has arisen of whether LLP members or partners can also simultaneously be workers, regardless of whether they can also be employees. The answers to these questions go to the very heart of what the law regards as an employer–employee or firm–worker relationship, yet recent legislation and jurisprudence have failed to clarify the legal position. This article explores the employee and worker status of partners and LLP members, and the consequences both for them and for the development of the law.

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