Mutuality of Obligation between assignments

In the recent case of Capita Translation v Siauciunas considered whether a lack of mutuality of obligation between assignments was relevant to the legal test for employment status.

The Claimant worked for the Respondent under a framework agreement on an assignment by assignment basis. The Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant was in fact an employee and was therefore able to take advantage of the discrimination protections in the Equality Act 2010. On appeal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal noted that a lack of mutuality of obligation between assignments would in fact be relevant to the employment status test under the Equality Act 2010.  It was important to consider the relationship between Claimant and Respondent both during the assignments but also between assignments.  The matter has therefore been remitted to a new employments tribunal to consider the relationship between the parties  during assignments.

This case highlights the issue of employment status and the need to determine this as a preliminary issue using the correct legal tests before a case can progress further to detailed analysis.