Employment Case Study
Lawson-West proved that an NHS Bank Healthcare Assistant working on a zero hours’ contract had been an employee though she had no obligation to accept work offered to her.
In Suleyman v. North Bristol NHS Trust our client, a Bank Healthcare Assistant, was found to be an employee within the meaning of Section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 even though the Tribunal recognised: i) the Healthcare Assistant had been under no obligation to accept any offer of work, and was not guaranteed a minimum amount of work; ii) the Respondent had no control, or influence over which of the eligible bank staff accepted any single assignment; iii) Bank Healthcare Assistants were permitted to work for any other organisation; and iv) the Claimant was also not engaged on an assignment for in excess of one week on six occasions.
Nicholas Bidnell-Edwards, the barrister instructed by Lawson-West, submitted that the necessary mutuality of obligations did exist on any particular assignment, and that the Claimant should be regarded as continuing in employment throughout each of the six occasions. Although continuity of service would ordinarily have been broken, there existed an arrangement or custom to maintain continuity of service under Section 212 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Employment Judge Pirani accepted these submissions and the Claimant was therefore found to have been an employee.
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