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Employment Status

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Thanks to Sophia Berry of Littleton Chambers for preparing this case summary

Is an individual who provides services to an end user through a limited company protected by the Equality Act 2010?

No, holds the EAT in Halawi v World Duty Free.

The EAT held that a contract personally to do work was required for the Equality Act to apply. On the facts, no contract had been entered into by Ms Halawi with either of the Respondents. Furthermore, an unfettered right of substitution existed, which Ms Halawi had exercised on occasion.

The Respondents' lack of control over Ms Halawi, and the absence of any direct evidence that she was economically dependent on them, also led the EAT to conclude that an employment relationship of subordination had not been established.

The EAT expressed its unease at the fact that Ms Halawi could have been subjected to discrimination and yet had no right to complain to the employment tribunal, but said that the legal tests had to be satisfied.