Patel v Specsavers Optical Group Ltd UKEAT/0286/18/JOJ

Appeal against the ET’s finding that the Claimant was not an employee of the Respondent. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, an optician, operated a store for six years under the Respondent's joint-venture model, whereby the store was run by a holding company ("SSL") and a trading company ("SVL"). Following his summary dismissal, the Claimant brought claims in the ET against the Respondent and SVL (although he only had an ACAS early conciliation certificate in respect of the Respondent) for unfair and wrongful dismissal. The ET found, in light of the shareholders' agreement that regulated the parties' relationships, that the Claimant was employed by SVL as his sole employer, and it refused to allow him to add or substitute SVL as a respondent in the proceedings. The Claimant appealed on the grounds that he had a dual employment relationship by virtue of the shareholders' agreement with the Respondent and a service agreement with SVL, and that the ET had accepted the Claimant's evidence that he had been misled by ACAS advice in relation to adding or substituting SVL as a respondent.

The EAT held that the ET was entitled to conclude that there was no dual employment relationship, and there was no error of law disclosed in the ET's findings that the Claimant had only informed ACAS of there being one respondent during the early conciliation process.

Published: 20/02/2020 14:19

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