Labour Research May 2004

Features: Law queries

Agency staff

We work for a local authority which also employs a number of agency staff, one of whom has been working for the authority for over four years. After a complaint from the authority, the agency has removed her. Has she got the right to take an unfair dismissal claim?

A recent ruling of the Court of Appeal has rejected the notion that someone working through an agency in this way could take an unfair dismissal claim against the agency, since she would not be working for them under a contract of employment.

However, the majority of the judges in the court did suggest that there might have been an implied contract of employment between the agency worker and the authority for which she worked.

Although the point was not fully tested in that case, because the individual had not brought the claim against the authority, your member may be able to take a claim against the authority using this case.

* More information: Brook Street Bureau v Dacas A1/2003/0205