Recent employment law case: Self-employed carer joins the “employment” family

Document reads 'Employment Contract'

You may have heard about a recent court case relating to employment status, which is particularly relevant as it specifically applies to the care work force, and the use of an introduction agency.  Anthony Collins Solicitors have summarised the case here and note the following key points for those involved in the sector:

  • The fact that an individual carer can substitute themselves so that they can enjoy holidays and/or have other time off, is not a bar to employee status;
  • Clarity of language is key – the language used in referring to Ms Phillips’ monthly payments as a ‘salary’ and referring to her ‘employment’ by Mr Chatfeild-Roberts’s nephew did not help the case against an employment relationship. Making sure all contractual documentation and communication is consistent is crucial;
  • Whilst the tax treatment is important, it is still only part of the picture, and certainly, in this case, it was not a determining factor. Just because HMRC has accepted that a carer is self-employed, it does not mean that a court would take the same view in respect of other employment rights, such as those listed above, and therefore could have significant financial implications; and
  • Remember this area of law is currently a moveable feast! Tribunals and courts are willing to rethink situations that previously might have been considered clear-cut, with regards to employment status. The Government’s initial intentions (The Good Work Plan) demonstrate their intention to move forward with the recommendations of the Taylor Review, and their plan to address employment status regarding the increasing number of individuals within our economy whose working practices are not necessarily compatible with old-style rules. Providers engaging carers on a self-employed basis may, therefore, want to review their working practices.


Self Directed Support Scotland

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