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Court says employment status must be considered in the round

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Royal Courts of Justice

Emerging Markets Partnership (Europe) LTD v Bachnak
Court of Appeal
19 December 2003

The Court of Appeal has held that where an ’employee’ enters into two contracts with the ’employer’, one (without any remuneration) in a traditional employee/employer relationship, and the other (with remuneration to the limited company) through the intermediary of a one-man limited company, an employment tribunal cannot simply say that the lack of remuneration on the one contract, and the absence of a direct contractual relationship on the other, means that the individual is not an employee (and thus cannot claim unfair dismissal).

The Court added that a tribunal should look at the two contracts in the round and decide whether, in the light of the co-existing contracts, an express or implied contract of employment arises.

Emerging Markets Partnership (Europe) LTD v Bachnak [2003] EWCA Civ 1876

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