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In determining whether one is an employee under the labour laws, the legal precedents have developed such indicators as the power to instruct the performance of work, the nature of wages as the price for labour, the possession of fixture, whether or not the worker provides labour continuously or exclusively to the employer and so on. Compared with this, certain types of workers provide their labour for one client or one enterprise via the façade of self-employment and they are wholly dependent on that enterprise. Among them, two different categories are found as below. On one hand, the ‘disguised self-employment’ can be defined as subordinate employment relationships which are disguised as autonomous work, usually for fiscal reasons, or in order to avoid the payment of social security contributions and thereby reduce labour costs, or to circumvent labour legislation and protection, such as the provisions on dismissals. On the other hand, the concept of ‘economically dependent workers’ is related to ‘economic dependence’ criteria, such as work performed personally, without the aid of another subordinate employee, work done mainly for one person, and worker relying for more than half of his/her total income on one single person. With regard to the former, it matters to adjust the legal interpretation of employee in line with a changing nature of subordination. The latter is related to the question why and how the labour protections should be provided to the emerging dependent workers. I will argue these questions with a case of an ‘independent truck driver’ in Korean road freight transport industry. This article starts with an overview of industrial structure and employment conditions in the road freight transport industry, and this is based on the results of surveys on independent truck drivers, which was conducted in 2011. Thereafter, I examines the legal precedents regarding the concept of employee and whether or not independent truck drivers are protected under Korean labour laws. Finally, I analyze how the problem of independent workers is related to the boundary of workers’ rights and propose a further step to understand the changing nature of employment relationship and to adjust the scope of labour laws.