Employees and workers

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that an out-of-hours GP, who provided her services to the respondent through a separate service organisation, was a ‘worker’ and not ‘self-employed’. Determining the true relationship between an individual and an organisation, and whether the individual amounts to an employee, worker and someone who is self-employed, can be the cause of much confusion. When considering this issue, tribunals will focus on the particular facts of the case in order…

Employees and workers, Termination

Employment tribunal – October 2018 The employment tribunal (ET) has ruled that dismissing an apprentice prior to the completion of their apprenticeship was in breach of contract. This case concerned an apprentice who entered into an arrangement with an organisation in Scotland, Express Joinery, under the auspices of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). This outlined an apprenticeship with an end date of January 2020. During his time working for Express Joinery the apprentice took…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal – December 2018 The Court of Appeal (CA) has dismissed Uber’s appeal against the employment tribunal (ET) and Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision that drivers engaged by Uber were not self-employed contractors, but fell squarely within the legal definition of ‘worker’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. This case concerns the claim from two London-based Uber drivers that they should be…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – November 2018 Were private-hire drivers classed as workers when logged into an app? Facts Private-hire drivers for the organisation took on work under a driver contract which expressly stated they were “independent contractors” and would act as sub-contractors for Addison Lee (AL) where bookings were made by AL account holders. The contract went on further to state that there was no obligation on the organisation to offer work to the driver, or for the driver…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal – November 2018 Appeal against finding that part-time worker was treated less favourably is dismissed and case is remitted to the tribunal to determine whether the treatment was objectively justified. Facts Pinaud was employed as a crew member by British Airways from 1985 on a full time basis but began working a part-time shift pattern in 2005. Full-time workers worked a “6/3 pattern” which provided for six days on and three days off. In total, over the course of a…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – May 2018 The EAT has ruled that lower annual leave and rest break allowances for agency workers, in comparison to directly employed workers, cannot be compensated by an increased hourly rate of pay, however there is no requirement to provide agency workers with the same number of working hours as the directly employed workers. Facts The case relates to an agency worker who, after several months of work with an end user organisation, became dissatisfied with…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – February 2018 Did higher hourly pay for an agency worker compensate for differences in holiday and payment for breaks when compared to an end-user’s employee? Article 5 of the EU Temporary Agency Workers Directive creates the principle of equal treatment; where basic working and employment conditions for agency workers should be “at least those” that would apply if they were a direct recruit for the agency worker. The domestic legislation, the Agency Workers…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal – January 2018 District Judge could not claim whistle-blowing protection as she was solely an office-holder, and not a worker under s230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Individuals are protected against suffering a detriment due to making a protected disclosure if they are a worker under s230(3) Employment Rights Act 1996 (‘ERA’). This defines a worker as an individual who has entered in to, or works under, a contract of employment or any other contract whether express…

Employees and workers, Employee relations

Central Arbitration Committee – November 2017 To be recognised for collective bargaining, the union had to first prove the riders were workers within the statutory definition contained in s296 Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA). Facts The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) made a formal request for trade union recognition to Deliveroo on 7 November 2016. They sought to negotiate pay, hours and holiday rights with Deliveroo on behalf of the…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – November 2017 The Employment Appeal Tribunal has dismissed Uber’s appeal against a tribunal decision that drivers engaged by Uber were not self-employed contractors, but fell squarely within the legal definition of ‘worker’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. Tribunal In November 2016, the employment tribunal held drivers engaged by Uber were workers. The tribunal judged the…

Employees and workers

Employment tribunal – October 2017 Were minicab drivers self-employed or workers? Facts Three drivers signed a driver contract that stated they were self-employed and contracted to provide services to Addison Lee as a sub-contractor. The contract also stated there was no obligation to provide services to Addison Lee, nor an obligation on Addison Lee to provide work. The contract stated the drivers chose when to work but were obliged to perform each “customer contract” promptly. The…

Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – August 2017 Part-time worker paid 50 per cent of comparable full-time worker’s salary whilst working proportionately more than 50 per cent of full-time hours was treated less favourably. Facts Pinaud was employed as a crew member by British Airways from 1985 on a full time basis. After returning from maternity leave in 2005, Pinaud began working a part time shift pattern. The full-time shift pattern was called the “6/3 pattern” and provided for six days on…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal - 1983 ‘Regular casuals’ and employment rights Facts O'Kelly, who worked as a casual wine waiter, was one of several members of staff who were regarded by the employer as 'regular casuals' and who were given priority over other casual staff in terms of the allocation of available work.   He had worked regularly in the hotel for many years until he was discharged, after which he lodged a claim for unfair dismissal. In order for the tribunal to have jurisdiction to hear…

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Employees and workers

Court of Appeal - February 2017 The Court of Appeal, in the latest ‘gig economy’ case, has confirmed the ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal that a plumber whom the company claimed was self-employed, was actually a worker, partly because he had to perform the work personally and was not allowed to provide a substitute.   The Court of Appeal, in the latest ‘gig economy’ case, has confirmed the ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal that a plumber whom the company claimed was self-…

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Employees and workers

Employment tribunal - January 2017 In yet another ‘gig economy’ case, an employment tribunal has decided that a cycle courier was a worker, and not a self-employed contractor.   Dewhurst, a cycle courier working for CitySprint, claimed that she was a worker under the Employment rights Act 1996 and, therefore, entitled to be paid for the two days’ holiday she had taken. ‘Worker’ status would also entitle her to rest breaks and the minimum wage.   Her contract said she was a “self-…

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Employees and workers

Employment tribunal - November 2016 An employment tribunal has held that drivers engaged by Uber were not self-employed contractors, but fell squarely within the legal definition of ‘worker’ under the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.   Certain employment rights only apply to employees, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the right to a redundancy payment. However, ‘workers’ are also entitled to some…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – November 2016 The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has decided that district judges are not workers but ‘office holders’ and so do not have the protection provided by the whistleblowing legislation. Recent cases (such as Aslam v Uber) have extended ‘worker’ rights (for example, the right to paid holiday, the minimum wage and whistleblowing protection) to those who previously would have been seen as self-employed. In those cases, courts and tribunals have…

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Employees and workers

Court of Appeal – July 2016 In this case, Czech and Algerian court interpreters who regularly worked for only one client (the Ministry of Justice) were unable to bring race claims because there was no mutuality of obligation in their contracts. Two court interpreters, who were on the court service’s National Register of Public Service Interpreters, and who assisted those who did not have English as their first language during court proceedings, were engaged to do work personally on a…

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Employees and workers

High Court: February 2016 This legal challenge may force a change to procedure on spent convictions which has hitherto prevented minor offences from ever being cleared from a person’s criminal record   The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 allows certain ‘spent’ convictions to be removed from criminal records so individuals do not have to disclose them in specific circumstances. Where regulated activities are involved, such as working with children and vulnerable adults, both spent…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal – August 2015 This case confirmed that under the EU’s temporary agency workers directive and the UK’s regulations that implement it, all workers are entitled to equal access to information on internal job vacancies, but permanent employees can be given priority when those vacancies are filled.   Under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, temporary agency workers are entitled to equal treatment compared with permanent employees over their fundamental terms of…

Employees and workers, Employee relations

Court of Session - April 2015 Application of collective consultation requirements to employees on fixed-term contracts Facts The claimants were employed under fixed-term contracts which they had each agreed would come to an end at a particular date or at the end of a specific project. When their contracts came to an end and were not renewed, their union argued that the employer had failed to carry out collective consultation (for redundancy) according to s188 of the Trade Union and…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal - January 2015 In this case the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to decide on the employment status of a plumber when he claimed unfair dismissal. Written contracts between him and the company indicated he was self-employed, but an employment tribunal decided he as a worker, primarily because he was required to carry out the work personally, and this was confirmed on appeal. Facts Smith worked as a plumber for Pimlico Plumbers from August 2005 to April 2011…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal - October 2014 Barring a fixed-term employee from benefitting from an income protection plan while he was ill was not discriminatory, as it was shown to be standard practice for the insurance industry to exclude employees whose contracts expired before the 26 qualifying period.   However, although the detrimental treatment was justifiable in this case, employers need to take care over their choice of insurer and should ensure it is clear that benefits are…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal - October 2014 Stage actors’ claim to be workers entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay is remitted to a fresh tribunal.   Employment law distinguishes between three types of worker: those employed under a contract of employment; the self-employed in business on their own account who undertake work for clients; an intermediate class of worker who are self-employed but do not fall within the second category. Here the Employment Appeal Tribunal had to consider…

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Employees and workers, Equality

Supreme Court - July 2014 In this case, the Supreme Court had to decide whether the UK’s criminal records system breached the right to privacy contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.   The European convention provides the right to private and family life (Article 8), but says this right may be interfered with “in the interests of national security, public safety …. or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”.   UK law on the disclosure of criminal…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal - January 2014 The claimant, who provided services through an agency, argued that she had been discriminated against when her airside security pass was removed by the outlet operator following complaints from her colleagues about her. She, therefore, had to show that she was an employee of one of those companies for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.   The decision from the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case Halawi v World Duty Free is the first from an…

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Employees and workers

Employment Appeal Tribunal - January 2014 An agency worker, whose name was included on an employment blacklist as a result of his trade union and health and safety activities, brought a claim alleging that he should be protected by legislation that defended employees against any detriment on these grounds, and that the courts should imply a contract of employment in the light of his working arrangements.   Establishing employment status is essential for accessing many employment rights,…

Employees and workers

Court of Appeal - October 2013 Lack of day-to-day control does not rule out employee status Facts Two caretakers/managers of a small estate in Surrey had an agreement which referred to employment, and which set out their duties and responsibilities. There were no fixed hours. The owners of the estate (who were Nigerian) only visited once or twice a year, so the caretakers were largely left to get on with their duties. Furthermore, the agreement permitted the individuals to take…

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Employees and workers, Terms and conditions

Employment Appeal Tribunal - October 2013 The claimants were engaged as care workers on zero hours contracts which stated that "the employer is not under an obligation to offer the employee any work and has specifically reserved the right to reduce the employee's working hours wherever necessary". Following a Tupe transfer to another care provider, the new employer argued this meant the claimants were not employees because there was no mutuality of obligation.   For an individual to be…

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Employees and workers

Supreme Court - May 2013 In this unusual case the Supreme Court ruled that a Methodist minister was not an employee for the purposes of bringing a claim for unfair dismissal even though several factors in her relationship with the church pointed towards employment.   Until relatively recently, case law has shown that ministers of religion are not employees for employment law purposes because of the spiritual nature of such appointments. But doubt was cast on this position in 2006 by a…