In Clyde & Co and another v Bates van Winkelhof, the Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against the EAT’s decision that a former equity partner of a limited liability partnership (LLP) was a worker and therefore eligible to bring a whistleblowing claim.
The Court of Appeal held that the effect of the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000 (section 4(4)) is that an LLP member who would have been a partner under a general partnership could not be a worker. In addition, the relationship between an LLP member and an LLP does not have the characteristics of control and subordination which are inherent in the concepts of employee and worker.
This decision means that most LLP members have no employment rights except protection from discrimination, although a further appeal is expected. It should also be noted that the terms of the LLP members’ agreement, and the duties and responsibilities of each individual, will also be vital in establishing their employment status.