Over recent years we have seen lots of case law on the issue of employment status. What I mean here is whether someone is an employee, a worker, or genuinely in business on their own account. Read my post below to see the latest decision relating to the status of a Solicitor who was a Salaried Partner in a Law Firm….
In the case of Morrison v Aberdein Considine & Company, UKEAT/0018/17/JW, the Claimant was a Solicitor in a Law Firm. Specifically, she was a Salaried Partner. Following the termination of her employment, the Claimant pursued a number of claims in the Employment Tribunal. Her claims included age and sex discrimination, a statutory redundancy payment, and unfair dismissal.
In order for the Claimant to pursue her claims for a statutory redundancy payment and unfair dismissal, she needed to demonstrate she was an employee. The Respondent disputed the Claimant’s employment status. They submitted that in accordance with the Firm’s Partnership Agreement, she was a partner (salaried) and so not entitled to claim either redundancy or unfair dismissal.
The Employment Tribunal in the first instance agreed with the Respondent. They found that having regard to the Partnership Agreement, which they reviewed as a starting point, the Claimant was not an employee. However, they did assess other areas relevant to employment status including control, mutuality of obligation, risk, profit etc….before coming to their decision.
The Claimant appealed against the Employment Tribunal’s decision and so the case proceeded to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The Appeal Judge dismissed the appeal. The Claimant was not an employee. Whilst the Partnership Agreement was the starting point for the Tribunal’s assessment, they had clearly undertaken a careful review of all of the other factors indicative of employment status.
If you are a salaried partner in a law firm and are working on the assumption that you are an employee, with certain employee benefits, now is absolutely the time to review your employment status. At LincsLaw Solicitors we have advised many clients on their employment status over the years. You can contact us for a free initial consultation on 01522 440512 or visit our website www.lincslaw.co.uk
Director, Specialist Employment Solicitor.