The three crucial factors in establishing employee status are control, mutuality of obligation and personal performance.
Given the level of control that British Cycling had over Jess’ lifestyle, the tribunal found that this was sufficient to satisfy the control factor of establishing employee status.
However, because Jess effectively volunteered for the programme with the desire of achieving success, the tribunal found no mutuality of obligation.
The tribunal also found that Jess was not obliged to personally perform any work and that she was merely required to train in the hope of achieving success in international competitions.
Given that two out of the three crucial factors in establishing employee status were missing in Jess’ case, the tribunal concluded that she was not employed by British Cycling. The tribunal also clarified that there was not a tripartite agreement with UK Sport.
This case reinstates the importance of taking care that, when making grants or providing services, the elements of a contract of employment are not present, unless they are intended to be.
To clarify the boundaries between employment statuses for charities, we provide step-by-step guidance, from drafting the initial agreement with the individual, through to managing changes to the relationship as it evolves over time.