South Lanarkshire Council v Smith [19 January 2000] (unreported) (EAT)

Identification of employer – carer – degree of control – statutory duty to provide care in community

S was a carer of disabled persons, B. A preliminary issue arose on her application to an employment tribunal as to whether she was employed by B or by the local authority, SLC. Dismissing the appeal, the EAT held that the local authority was S’s employer. a. Crucial to this reasoning was the finding that that the authority had a statutory duty to provide care to enable disabled persons to live in the community, had arranged the appointment of S, had not taken steps to make B aware of an employer’s duties and had indirectly funded S’s wages. The authority’s statutory duty was the fundamental framework of the relationship between S and B. That duty was a continuing one and the attendant degree of control had not been relinquished to B; the authority had overall control of S and were therefore her employers.

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