Employment law insights
20th November 2019
For a disclosure to be “qualifying” (and potentially form the basis of a protected disclosure, which could lead to a subsequent and successful claim), the Claimant must make the disclosure and reasonably believe it is in the public interest.
The case below is a useful reminder that the Claimant’s “belief” should always be investigated and it does not matter if the belief turns out not to be true, as long as the Claimant reasonably believed it was at the time of making the disclosure.
CONTRACTORS AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT: Are your contractor agreements fit for purpose?
The GP (Narayan – “N”) in the case below was deemed a worker by the Tribunal, with which the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) agreed, despite N being engaged and paid via a limited company from 2015 (which the healthcare provider was not initially aware of).
The judge noted the main features of the N’s role, that:-
– she had worked regular shifts for around 12 years, but that there was no mutuality of obligation.
– she could work for other providers, had her own equipment and insurance;
– she had to work personally and could not send a substitute;
– the healthcare provider had to audit the N’s services.
The EAT said the above case was different to Suhail v Herts Urgent Care because the Claimant, in that case, was actively marketing his services, whereas N worked regular shifts for one provider over many years.
We recommend you review your contractor agreements to ensure that status is clear to avoid any unwanted legal/financial consequences.