The case of the self employed car valeters and their treatment as employees

legal_updates

The valet's lodged employment tribunal claims against their employers asking for clarification as to their status.

Author: Dennis Chapman
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 11 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

This case relates to the employee status of 20 self employed car valets, who were employed on a self employment basis at a client site of the company Autoclenz Ltd.

Each valet held a contract of employment with Autoclenz, named as either a ‘subcontractor’ or ‘self employed independent contractor’. In 2004 they were taxed as self employed workers and not as employees.

By 2007, Autoclenz had amended each valets contract to remind them that they could have substitutes perform their duties as they had no tie to Autoclenz. Further it was reiterated that there was no guarantee of hours for the valet’s. This was Autoclenz’s attempt at ensuring that, contractually, the valets were bracketed as self employed.

This was unsuccessful as the valet’s lodged employment tribunal claims against Autoclenz asking for clarification as to their status with Autoclenz.

The Tribunal found in the valet’s favour that they were in fact working under a contract of service, the same as an employee, regardless of Autoclenz attempt to remove the clauses of personal service and mutual obligation.

The Tribunal found that the contractual terms were not a true reflection of the working relationship between the parties and therefore the valet’s should be treated as employees, even if their was no intention on the part of Autoclenz to deceive the valet’s.

The Tribunal further discussed that regardless of contractual working, in conduct reflects more accurately the status of a worker then this is how they will be defined as this will more accurately show the agreement that is intended to exist between the employees.

Dennis Chapman

In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.