Another case in the long line-up of contractor v employee disputes and another one from
the courier industry. Again, nothing new here with the Court confirming the long established
principles that the true nature of the contract is important (and not what it is called) and the
ability of the contractor to be able to work for other companies.
The one interesting part of the judgment, however, is the finding of the Court that an
“employee should be stopped from contending that he is an employee merely because he
has been content to accept self-employed status for some years”.” In other words, you dont
contradict yourself if you are happy to accpet the contractual situation as it is for many years
only to then claim that you should actually have been treated differently from the beginning.
What is in contract law know as estoppel therefore has no application in employment law.