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Working relationships – the unvarnished truth

Posted by Supportis Legal Experts in HR and Employment Law

Jessica Varnish, a British track cyclist and multiple world Commonwealth and European Championship medallist has recently lost her claim in an Employment Tribunal against British Cycling and UK Sport.

Jessica claimed that she was an employee of British Cycling and UK Sport, making claims at an Employment Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal, Sex Discrimination and Protected Disclosure (formerly known as Whistleblowing) against the two organisations. 

The Tribunal found that Jessica was neither an employee nor a worker of either of the organisations. Therefore, the Cyclist was unable to make any claims at an Employment Tribunal. In order to bring such claims the claimant (person making the claims) must be an established employee or worker.

It was determined that both British Cycling and UK Sport were merely service providers, providing support to talented athletes and that the relationship with the athletes was not of an employer-employee type relationship.

Regularly reviewing the level of obligations each party holds is vital to understanding whether you are in serious breach of Employment Law legislation.

Responsibilities to employees and self-employed individuals are entirely different and if you are unclear on what your relationship is you are placing your organisation at risk of being made to award large sums at tribunal.

Lacking knowledge and understanding of the type of relationship you hold could mean that you are in serious breach of the Employment Law legislations. Should it be established that there is an employer-employee relationship where you had counted the employee as self-employed, it can result in large sums of award and compensation being paid to the employee.

At the core of the Supportis service is a top to bottom review of your business which enables us to provide you with ongoing bespoke advice.  As part of this review (and ongoing advice) we ensure your organisation is aware of the level of obligations they hold and determine whether there is an employer-employee relationship or whether individuals are self-employed.

For more information or to book a free consultation please call our Employment Law Advisers on 0161 603 2156.

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If you'd like to find out more about how Supportis can help your business flourish then give us a call on 0161 603 2156 or send us an email.

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