In the UK legal system an individual working with an organisation can be classified as either 'worker', 'employee' or 'self-employed'. You can learn more out more about the differences between the three classifications here. The Employment Rights Act and the Working Time Regulations 1998 provide statutory definitions. However, these definitions are limited. Consequently, over the years, the courts have developed three tests to determine which category individuals fall under. They are the control test, the integration test and the multi-factor test.
What is the control test?
This test questions the level or degree of control that was exercised by the employer over the employee. It was applied in Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister Pensions and National Insurance (1968) 2 QB 497.
The courts decided that a lorry driver was self-employed and not an employee because he could occasionally substitute another driver to do his work.
What is the integration test?
This test questions whether the person's work is done as an 'integral part of the business' or whether it is merely an accessory to it. The test was first identified in Cassidy v Ministry of Health 1951, 2 KB 343, CA.
The court decided that a surgeon was an an employee for the NHS even though his work could not be controlled by the NHS.
What is the multi-factor test?
This test does not focus on one factor. Instead, it considers all factors. It recognises that some factors may point to self-employment status and some may point to employee status. However, its main question is whether the evidence overall points to the individual being an employee or self-employed?
The test was applied in Market Investigations v Minister of Social Security 1969 2 QB 173.
In this case Cook J stated that the fundamental question is, 'Is the person who has engaged himself to perform these services performing them as a person in business or on his own account?'