Cornwall County Council v Prater: CA 24 Feb 2006

The claimant worked for the local authority under a series of contracts. The employer denied that she had been continuously employed and there was no ‘irreducible minimum mutual obligation necessary to create a contract of service’. There were times when she had no work.
Held: Given the authorities there was ample reason to find a contract of employment. There was a sufficient mutuality of obligations.
Longmore LJ: There was a mutuality of obligation in each engagement namely that the County Council would pay Ms Prater for the work which she, in turn, agreed to do by way of giving tuition to the pupil for whom the Council wanted her to provide tuition. That to my mind is sufficient ‘mutuality of obligation’ to render the contract a contract of employment if other appropriate indications of such an employment contract are present.
Lord Justice Longmore
[2006] EWCA Civ 102, [2006] BLGR 479, [2006] 2 All ER 1013, [2006] IRLR 362, [2006] ICR 731
Employment Rights Act 1996 230(1)
England and Wales
Appeal fromCornwall County Council v Prater EAT 8-Jun-2005
EAT Contract of Employment – In this case we have held that where a Claimant teacher has accepted a succession of short term special teaching assignments, in circumstances where the Respondent employer was not . .
CitedFord v Warwickshire County Council HL 1983
In deciding whether in the case of employment under a series of short contracts the intervals between the contracts amount to temporary cessation of work, one must look back from the date of termination of the employment over the whole period during . .
CitedO’Kelly v Trusthouse Forte plc CA 1984
Workers claimed to be employees.
Held: They were not such. Their contract reserved the right to choose whether or not to work and for the employer not to give them work. The question of whether the facts which are found or admitted, fall one . .
CitedClark v Oxfordshire Health Authority CA 18-Dec-1997
A nurse was employed under a contract, under which there was no mutuality of obligation; she could refuse work and employer need offer none. This meant that there was no employment capable of allowing an unfair dismissal issue to arise.
Sir . .
CitedStevedoring and Haulage Services Limited v A M Fuller and others CA 9-May-2001
The claimants were stevedores whose contracts were intermittent. The employer denied that they were employees.
Held: There was no contract while the claimants were not at work. There was no overarching or global contract, and it was not . .
CitedMcMeechan v Secretary of State for Employment CA 11-Dec-1996
The respondent as a temporary worker was entitled to be treated as an employee of an agency within the contract governing the particular engagement where money was due when the agency went into liquidation. He was therefore able to claim against the . .

Cited by:
AppliedNorth Wales Probation Area v Edwards EAT 12-Dec-2007
EAT Contract of employment: Definition of employee
Whether claimant employed under a contract of employment – ‘sessional employment’ – succession of contracts
The claimant was placed on a list of . .
CitedUber Bv and Others v Aslam and Others SC 19-Feb-2021
Smartphone App Contractors were as Workers
The court was asked whether the employment tribunal was entitled to find that drivers whose work was arranged through Uber’s smartphone application work for Uber under workers’ contracts and so qualify for the national minimum wage, paid annual . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 February 2021; Ref: scu.238705