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Are foster parents employees?

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The Edinburgh Employment Appeal Tribunal has considered this yesterday.


In 2017, the Glasgow Employment Tribunal found that foster parents, Jimmy and Christine Johnstone, were employees of Glasgow City Council. This meant they should benefit from the same employment rights and protections as other Council workers.


The Tribunal based its decision on a number of factors including the following:
• The Johnstones were obliged to personally perform the foster care work;
• In exchange they were paid £32,000 per annum;
• They were allowed paid holidays;
• It was a condition of the agreement that neither of them took other work without the Council’s consent;
• There was a requirement to submit a daily parental report which indicated a degree of day-to-day control;
• The Johnstones were also required to attend weekly meetings; and
• They had no real discretion as to how the work they were required to do should be undertaken.

The Tribunal found that the degree of control was such that the claimants were employees of the Council working under a contract of service.

Glasgow City Council appealed against the Tribunal’s decision and the appeal was heard this week by the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The case is adjourned whilst Lord Summers considers his judgment.