The Supreme Court has now decided in Clyde & Co v Bates van Winkelhof that a member of a limited liability partnership can be a ‘worker’. Previously, the courts had held that Ms Bates van Winkelhof – a fixed share partner in a law firm – could not be protected by whistleblowing legislation because she did not have the necessary worker status. The decision is significant because it now opens up employment law protection to a wider group of people, particularly those in legal and financial businesses (commonly LLPs), who didn’t think they were entitled to it.
Such organisations will now need to overhaul their provision of benefits like auto-enrolment, working time rights and unlawful deduction from wages protection and make sure these are available to this wider category of worker. Note that this case concerned whether a partner in an LLP could still be a “worker” under the Employment Rights Act.
Remember that workers are not necessarily employees – although employees are always workers!