Agency workers are not always employees

February 1, 2011
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The Court of Appeal has upheld a decision that an agency worker was not employed by the user of his services despite the control that the company exercised over his work. The case was in relation to an unfair dismissal claim, but could have a serious impact for those people making an accident at work claim. In the case of Tilson v Alstom Transport, Mr Tilson worked for Alstom between August 2004 and November 2006, during which time he was promoted to a managerial position and was offered a permanent job as an employee under an employment contract. However, he was unwilling to accept this because he was on a significantly higher rate of pay under the agency arrangements than he would have received as an employee. He also perceived there to be tax advantages in this arrangement. The Court held that, where there is no common intention or desire that there should be a contract between the end user and an agency worker this is a powerful factor militating against any such implication, notwithstanding the integration of an agency worker into an employer’s workforce. This is an important consideration for us when we are considering who to sure for work accident compensation when making a work accident claim.

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