Employment status

Revision Notes:

History of Employment Law

The Industrial Relations Act 1971 first introduced the right to complain of ‘unfair dismissal’. Before the 1971 Act, the complaints were dealt with the Courts under the common law.


Categories of work


The different categories of work can be found in s.230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.



What is a Contract of Service?


In the modern world, the skills and qualifications of employees have made it very difficult for employers to control every aspect of employees.


The Courts have used the following common law tests to decide whether there is a contract of service:


  • “Integration test”
  • “Economic reality test”
  • “Control test”
  • “Mutual obligations test”
  • “Multiple factor test”


What is an express term?


This is where the contract of employment states to do something (expressly). However, in reality, you do not have to do comply with whatever is written in the contract.




There are 3 requirements for the individual to be categorised as a worker:


  • Must be an individual who has entered into a contract with another for work or services.
  • Performs work or services.
  • The other party must not have the status of a client or customer of the person performing the work or service.


Relevant Case law:


Stevenson Jordan & Harrison Ltd v McDonald and Evans [1952] 1 TLR 101


Market Investigations Ltd v Minister of Social Security [1969] 2 QB 173.


Ready Mix Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance [1968] 1 All ER 433


Stephenson v Delphi Diesel Systems Ltd [2003] ICR 471


Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011] UKSC 41


Uber BV v Alam [2018] EWCA Civ 2748