U.K.: Worker Status Does Not Depend on a Requirement for a Minimum Amount of Work

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From JDSupra, Sinead Cuthill, Alex Denny, and Emma Vennesson discuss a recent case in which a worker was found to be an employee even though he was required to work a minimum amout of work. Sinead, Alex and Emma write:

Clarification on Worker Status

In Nursing and Midwifery Council v Somerville [2022] EWCA Civ 229, the Court of Appeal (CoA) considered whether an obligation on the part of a worker to perform a minimum amount of work was a prerequisite for worker status.

Mr. Somerville was appointed by the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) as a member and chair of its Fitness to Practice Committee. Under the terms of the contracts appointing him, Mr. Somerville had the status of an independent contractor, the NMC was not obliged to offer him work, and he was not obliged to accept any work offered to him. He brought a claim for holiday pay on the basis that he was a worker.

The CoA held that Mr. Somerville was a worker on the basis that he was required to perform personally any work that he accepted and the NMC was not a client or customer of Mr. Somerville’s business.  It was not a prerequisite to a finding of worker status that there should be an obligation to perform a minimum amount of work.

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Uber BV and others v Aslam and others, this case provides further clarity on the test for worker status. This is an important consideration for employers as workers have certain entitlements, such as to the National Minimum Wage and paid holiday.

Source: U.K. Employment Law Update: Worker Status, Non-Compete Restrictions and COVID-19 Dismissal | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP – JDSupra

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