In Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher and others  IRLR 820 SC, the Supreme Court held that the employment tribunal was entitled to find that a written contract between a car valeting company and its valeters stating that the valeters were independent contractors did not reflect the true agreement between the parties. The valeters had the legal status of employees.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that the employment tribunal was wrong to hold that a former apprentice, who had a "university sponsorship contract" with the respondent company, was an employee and had been unfairly dismissed when that contract came to an end.
The Supreme Court has affirmed that, where a party asserts that a written term does not reflect the reality of the agreement, tribunals and courts may look outside the terms to determine the true nature of the agreement.
In X v Mid Sussex Citizens’ Advice Bureau and others  EWCA Civ 28 CA, the Court of Appeal held that a volunteer at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau was not an employee for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and could not therefore claim disability discrimination when she was asked to stop her voluntary work.
In Bullock v Norfolk County Council EAT/0230/10, the EAT held that a foster carer was not a “worker”, as defined in the Employment Rights Act 1996, and not therefore entitled to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing.
In Tilson v Alstom Transport  IRLR 169 CA, the Court of Appeal held that there was no basis for the employment tribunal to imply a contract of employment between an agency worker and the end user. The fact that the claimant had rejected offers of just such a permanent contract on more than one occasion was a powerful factor pointing away from an employment relationship.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to employment status.