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.

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.

Profit BoxDevelop your people like your business depends on it

What most people don’t know is that talent development doesn’t have to be complicated, high risk or expensive. Once they integrate key development stages, the results can be remarkable. Empower your team. Lead your industry. We’re your strategic learning partner, driving performance by moving skills forward.

Dennis ChapmanIn remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015Read More by this author

Related Legal Updates

New employment legislation effective from 6 April 2024

Enhanced employee rights, offering day-one entitlements to carer’s leave, flexible working arrangements, and extended redundancy protection for pregnant employees and those on family leave.

Wages increasing from 1 April 2024

With effect from 1 April 2024, the hourly rates of pay are…

Employment Law: Carer’s Leave

The regulations explicitly safeguard employees from any detriment or dismissal resulting from taking or seeking to take carer’s leave.

Employment Law: Annual Leave Changes

Several significant changes came into force on 1 January 2024 that affect the statutory annual leave and pay entitlements.

The office Christmas party season is here

Where an employee makes comments concerning a person’s body parts or style of dress that are intended to be good-natured but are perceived as offensive…

Update on Rights to Flexible Working Requests

Employers will remain entitled to turn down a request pointing to reasonable grounds as a basis for refusal.

Three new employment laws for 2024

The Carers Leave Act, The Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Act and The Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Act.

Get in touch

Complete the form to get in touch or via our details below:

01480 455500

Vinpenta House
High Causeway

By submitting this quote you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.