In Suhail v Barking Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust UKEAT/0536/13/RN, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered whether a doctor who provided his services to a health care trust through a co-operative was an employee, a worker or self-employed.
Dr Suhail provided his services as an out-of-hours doctor to a health care trust via a co-operative. When he sought to bring employment claims, the first issue to be determined was his employment status. The EAT held that he was neither an employee nor a worker: he was self-employed. In coming to this decision, the EAT took into account a number of factors including the following: he submitted invoices for his services which were paid by the co-operative without deduction for tax or national insurance; the co-operative was not obliged to provide him with work, nor was he obliged to accept any work that it did offer him; his agreement with the co-operative was not exclusive and he was free to take up any other work at any time; his agreement with the co-operative described him as a self-employed contractor; and he actively marketed himself to whichever health care agency offered the most attractive seasonal work.
This case provides a useful reminder of the factors that UK Employment Tribunals will take into account when considering employment status. It should be noted, however, that such cases are particularly fact-sensitive and the outcomes can vary greatly from case to case.