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Examiner wins ET case which rules that she is a ‘worker’ and not self-employed

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead Burton

In the case of Ms P Anning V Pearson Education Limited the London Central Employment Tribunal has ruled that an examiner  is a ‘worker’ for the purposes of section 230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA 1996”) and regulation 2 (applying limb (b) of the relevant definition of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR 1998”).

The National Education Union (NEU) brought a test case to the ET seeking worker status for one of its members working for Pearson Education Limited.

Many NEU members have worked for Pearson writing exam papers, setting grade boundaries, dealing with grade appeals, and ensuring the smooth running and consistent marking of exams across the country for many years without ever being classed as a worker or enjoying any of the rights associated with that such as holiday pay, minimum wage and protection against unlawful discrimination.

The situation came to the attention of the NEU when members started contacting them during Covid, when summer exams were cancelled and senior examiners – many of whom rely on this work as their sole income – were left with cancelled contracts and no way to pay their bills. Pearson refused to furlough these individuals, claiming they were self-employed, whilst HMRC indicated they were not eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme as they believed they were employed.

Pearson will pay the sum of £5320 for holiday pay.

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