Mirror Group Newspapers v Gunning: CA 1985

The claimant sought to have transferred to her, her father’s agency for the wholesale distribution of Sunday newspapers. The claimant alleging sex discrimination after being refused. The company said that she was not an employee within the 1975 Act.
Held: The statutory definition of employment went beyond the relationship of master and servant; ‘what is contemplated by the legislature in this extended definition is a contract the dominant purpose of which is the execution of personal work or labour.’ The parties anticipated that the claimant would carry out the work personally, but there was no obligation in the agreement to do that. There was no evidence that the agent was required personally to carry out the work though his personality was important and his personal involvement might be regarded as desirable. The dominant purpose of the contract was to ensure that newspapers were efficiently distributed. For a contract to fall within the Act, the claimant had to establish that the dominant purpose of the contract was to require the work to be carried out personally by the claimant. ‘However I do accept Mr. Irvine’s alternative submission that the phrase in its context contemplates a contract whose dominant purpose is that the party contracting to provide services under the contract performs personally the work or labour which forms the subject matter of the contract.’
Oliver LJ, Balcombe LJ, Sir David Cairns
[1986] ICR 145, [1986] 1 WLR 546, Times 06-Nov-1985, [1986] IRLR 26
Sex Discrimination Act 1975 82(1)
England and Wales
Cited by:
AdoptedKelly v Northern Ireland Housing Executive; Loughran v Northern Ireland Housing Executive HL 29-Jul-1998
Provisions against discrimination on religious grounds in Northern Ireland, could apply to appointment of a firm to a panel of experts, where one person was designated to carry out that work. ‘it is essential, for there to be ’employment,’ that the . .
CitedMingeley v Pennock and Another (T/A Amber Cars) CA 9-Feb-2004
The claimant taxi driver sought to assert race discrimination. The respondent argued that he had not been an employee, but an independent contractor. The Claimant owned his own vehicle and paid the respondents minicab operators pounds 75 per week . .
CitedPercy v Church of Scotland Board of National Mission HL 15-Dec-2005
The claimant appealed after her claim for sex discrimination had failed. She had been dismissed from her position an associate minister of the church. The court had found that it had no jurisdiction, saying that her appointment was not an . .
CitedJivraj v Hashwani SC 27-Jul-2011
The parties had a joint venture agreement which provided that any dispute was to be referred to an arbitrator from the Ismaili community. The claimant said that this method of appointment became void as a discriminatory provision under the 2003 . .
CitedJames v Redcats (Brands) Ltd EAT 21-Feb-2007
EAT National Minimum Wage
Who is a ‘worker’?
Was the Appellant who worked as a courier for the Appellant company, providing her own vehicle, a worker or home worker within the meaning of ss.54(3) and . .
CitedClyde and Co LLP and Another v van Winkelhof SC 21-May-2014
Solicitor Firm Member was a Protected Worker
The solicitor appellant had been a member of the firm, a limited liability partnership. She disclosed criminal misbehaviour by a partner in a branch in Africa. On dismissal she sought protection as a whistleblower. This was rejected, it being found . .
CitedPimlico Plumbers Ltd and Another v Smith SC 13-Jun-2018
The parties disputed whether Mr Smith had been an employee of or worker with the company so as to bring associated rights into play. The contract required the worker to provide an alternate worker to cover if necessary.
Held: The company’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 27 July 2021; Ref: scu.194279