Alemi v. Orton Bushfield Medical Practice  UKEAT 0042
This was a sex discrimination case but there was a preliminary issue of whether the locum doctor was an employee or agent of the medical practice. This has to be decided on before the sex discrimination case can be heard. The Employment Tribunal held that the locum doctor was an employee of the practice. The Claimant has appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal
The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that there was no significant difference between the definition of an employee in the extended sense for the purposes of section 83(2) Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010) and a limb (b) worker for the purposes of provisions such as the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996). Both exclude those who are genuinely in business on their own account and undertake work for their clients or customers.
The Appellant, Dr Alemi, was a locum doctor and he worked at the Orton Bushfield Medical Practice. The Claimant, Ms Kady Mitchell, was a Practice Nurse. The Practice Nurse brought proceedings against the Practice and the locum doctor in the Employment Tribunal. She claimed that the locum doctor was either an employee or an agent of the practice, rendering the Practice and the locum doctor liable for his actions.
The locum doctor defended the action on the basis that he was neither an employee nor an agent of the Practice. The ET held that the locum doctor was an employee of the Practice under the Equality Act and, as a result, the tribunal did not then go on to consider whether the was an agent.
Definitions of ’employee’ and ‘worker’
The problem under this case is establishing what the definitions for ’employee’ and ‘limb b worker’ are under the ERA 1996 and the EA 2010. The EAT held that there was no significant difference between the two definitions.
The appeal was allowed by the EAT and the matter was remitted for consideration of whether the locum doctor was an employee or agent of the Practice by a different Employment Judge.
Published: 8 January 2021