Direct employment is often associated with direct hire. People employed via direct employment generally obtain job security. Employers cannot just lay off direct hires when business is not doing well, as opposed to contractors and indirect hires where end of contract applies and have the risk of losing their jobs when things go kaput.
When employment is direct, the employer becomes responsible to file certain papers in behalf of the employee. This makes life easier for the employee since he or she does not have to deal with filing and monitoring and transacting with the government. So the employee only has to think about doing his job and be free of the other nitty gritties involved in employment.
Most indirect hires do not have the benefits given by employers to their direct hires. While it may sound unfair, entitlement to holiday pays and other employment benefits are really mostly perks given to employees whose status is not under contract. Since an employer is responsible for its direct hires, these employees often receive insurance benefits not enjoyed by contractual employees.
In a broader sense one can distinguish direct and indirect employment with the consequence it has on the economy of an area. For example, an airport project will have employees directly working on the airport, however, the project will also tend to create jobs related to it that where indirect employment comes in.