Case roundup

This week’s case roundup

Determining employment status
Reid v North West Ceilings, unreported, April 2001, EAT

Reid worked exclusively for NWC on a self-employed basis as a supervisor and
shopfitter for about four years. He received no holiday or sick pay and was
responsible for his own tax and National Insurance. In March 1998, he was
engaged as an employee under a new contract.

A short while later he was dismissed, but the tribunal struck out his unfair
dismissal claim. It held that Reid was not an employee in the four-year period
to March 1998 and accordingly he did not satisfy the qualifying period of
continuous employment.

The EAT held that the tribunal’s decision was perverse. It had failed to
take into account well-established guidelines and attached too much
significance to certain factors and not enough to others, for instance tax and
National Insurance liabilities as a consequence of a decision as to status and
not determinative of it.

It was essential to apply a "global view" and taking into account
that Reid’s role as supervisor was "part and parcel" of the
organisation, that he provided personal services for NWC and worked under its
control he was clearly its employee.

Moreover, other individuals doing a similar job to Reid were considered to
be employees and subject to PAYE during the period 1994 to March 1998.

Tribunal not obliged to make a recommendation
Fasuyi v London Borough of Greenwich, IRLB 661, EAT

In November 1997, Fasuyi, who was of West African origin, unsuccessfully
applied for promotion. He brought a claim for race discrimination and
victimisation (he had brought an unsuccessful race discrimination claim against
the council earlier that year).

The tribunal upheld only the claim of victimisation and awarded Fasuyi
£7,000.

The tribunal declared that it would not make a "recommendation"
pursuant to section 56 of the Race Relations Act, whereby it could recommend
that the council take practicable action within a specified period to reduce
the adverse effect of the discriminatory act on Fasuyi because Fasuyi had not
sought a recommendation as a remedy.

On appeal, the EAT held that there had been no error of law by the tribunal.
It had considered the issue of a recommendation (as evidenced by its
declaration), but it had concluded that there was no practical recommendation
that could be made.

The tribunal had taken into account the fact that the council had in place
equal opportunities polices and ethnic monitoring and that the adverse effects
of the victimisation were remedied by the award of compensation.

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