Definition: Number of employees

Category: Business statistics

Those persons who work for an employer and who have a contract of employment and receive compensation in the form of wages, salaries, fees, gratuities, piecework pay or remuneration in kind.

The relationship of employer to employee exists when there is an agreement, which may be formal or informal, between an enterprise and a person, normally entered into voluntarily by both parties, whereby the person works for the enterprise in return for remuneration in cash or in kind.

A worker is considered to be a wage or salary earner of a particular unit if he or she receives a wage or salary from the unit regardless of where the work is done (in or outside the production unit). A worker from a temporary employment agency is considered to be an employee of the temporary employment agency and not of the unit (customer) in which they work. 

In particular the following are considered as employees:

i) Paid working proprietors

ii) Students who have a formal commitment whereby they contribute to the unit's process of production in return for remuneration and/or education services

iii) Employees engaged under a contract specifically designed to encourage the recruitment of unemployed persons

iv) Homeworkers if there is an explicit agreement that the homeworker is remunerated on the basis of the work done and they are included on the pay-roll.
European Union, Commission Regulation (EC) No 2700/98 of 17 December 1998 concerning the definitions of characteristics for structural business statistics