The Court of Appeal has upheld an employment tribunal finding that an individual was an employee, despite the existence of a written "partnership agreement" that explicitly said he wasn't.

  • Mr Szilagyi worked for Protectacoat. He claimed unfair dismissal against them. Protectacoat pointed to the agreement and argued it was evidence that Mr Szilagyi was not an employee of the company.
  • The Court of Appeal considered the agreement to be a "sham". Lord Justice Sedley summed up the approach taken by the Court in stating that the question to be asked is 'not whether the written agreement is a sham but simply what the true legal relationship is'.

Protectacoat Firthglow Ltd v Szilagyi