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Questions of employment status are often determinative of a claim, but may be both legally and factually complex.

Barristers at Littleton have developed niche expertise, having acted in many of the ground-breaking cases on employee and worker status as this area of law has developed, including:

  • Montgomery v Johnson Underwood[2001] ICR 819
  • James v Greenwich London Borough Council[2008] ICR 545
  • Consistent Group v Kalwak[2008] IRLR 505
  • Byrne Brothers v Baird[2002] IRLR 96
  • Redrow Homes Limited v Wright[2004] IRLR 720
  • James v Redcats[2007] IRLR 296

We continue to be at the cutting edge of developments in this area of the law and appear in a disproportionately high number of the recent, important decisions, including:

  • CommunityDental Centres Ltd v Sultan-Darmon[2010] IRLR 1024 (concerning the requirement of mutuality of obligation in a worker contract in addition to the effect of a contractual right of substitution).
  • XvMidSussex Citizens Advice Bureau [2013] IRLR 146 (concerning the employment status of volunteers for the purpose of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive)
  • The President of the Methodist Conference v Preston [2013] IRLR 646 (concerning the employment status of ministers of religion)
  • Batesvan Winkelhof vClyde& Co LLP [2014] IRLR 641 (concerning the worker status of LLP members)
  • Windleand another v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] ICR 156 (concerning the effect of an absence of mutuality of obligation on a contract personally to do work)
  • Stack v Ajar-Tec Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 45 (concerning the employment status of directors)
  • Smith v Carillion Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 209 (concerning the implication of contracts of employment between agency workers and end users).

Littleton members are often instructed to advise clients on drafting contractual documentation and developing good business practice with a view to avoiding ambiguity over status, as well as to provide representation when the point is litigated.

Littleton also offer expertise in advising on employment status for the purposes of Income tax.


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