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Ready Mixed Concrete Ltd v Minister of Pensions

[1968] 2 QB 497

Case summary last updated at 20/01/2020 16:28 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Ready Mixed Concrete Ltd v Minister of Pensions

L agreed to a contract with A that described him as an “independent contractor” and he agreed to carry concrete exclusively for A in this period, wear A’s company uniform, drive a vehicle that would be bought from a company associated with A  and that it would be for A to repaiur and maintain in this period. The minister for pensions determined that L was really an employee under a contract of service and therefore A would have to pay NI contributions (and be liable) for L. CA overturned the minister’s decision.
Mackenna J: For there to be a contract of service there are generally 3 conditions: (a) the servant agreed in consideration of a wage or other remuneration to provide his own work and skill in the performance of some service for his master, (b) the servant agreed expressly or impliedly that, in performance of the service he would be subject to the control of the other party sufficiently to make him the master, and (c) the other provisions of the contract were consistent with its being a contract of service. However, condition (b)- control- was not always required. The real question is to ask if the rights and duties are distributed in such a way as to imply that one is the master and one the servant, taking account of both the manner of service AND the investment and loss. Here, the rights and duties were not conferred in such a way as to make either party master or servant and therefore L was NOT an employee. However, labels describing someone as an employee or independent contractor are not relevant if the rights and duties indicate the opposite to be true. 

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