This is a preview. To continue reading please log in or Register to read this article

Employment status: No mutuality of obligation means homeworkers not employees

This report relates to 1 case(s)

  • expand disabled

    Bridges and others v Industrial Rubber plc [2004] All ER (D) 261 (Nov) EAT (0 other reports)

Key points

In Bridges and others v Industrial Rubber plc, the EAT holds:

  • The irreducible minimum requirement for a contract of employment to exist is mutuality of obligation and a degree of control consistent with the position of an employer supervising an employee.
  • In this case the existence of a written contract that clearly stated that there was no obligation on the company to provide work, nor on the homeworker to accept it, meant that no contract of employment could be implied to make an unfair dismissal claim possible.
  • Although there were other features of the employment relationship that might have pointed to the homeworkers being employees, the lack of mutual obligation, the ability of the homeworkers to substitute others to carry out the work and the lack of control by the company over who did the work and when militated against the existence of a contract of employment.