Collaine v Kiril Ltd – employee or contractor?

Collaine v Kiril Ltd – employee or contractor?

This employment law case is one for your knowledge banks. It seems more and more employers are being challenged on their classification of workers… contractor or employee? Getting this right is crucial as the costs of getting it wrong are painful – think lost wages, compensation, back pay of holiday pay and potentially wage arrears claims. 

Collaine v Kiril Ltd

This case is about whether a building apprentice was an employee or a contractor. Like most situations that get to this level, parties are not in agreement with each other. On one hand, the worker held he was an employee. On the other, the business fought that he was a contractor. 

The Employment Relations Authority ultimately sided with the apprentice, agreeing that he was an employee. This was based on some of the following criteria: 

  • The intention of the parties was unclear
  • Apprentices are regarded as being under full control (supervision) of the business
  • The apprentice only worked for Kiril,  working regular hours and there was no evidence he was or could work elsewhere
  • Whilst the apprentice owned a small handful of tools, there was no evidence he was in business for himself

What did it cost Kiril? 

At this stage, the preliminary decision is made that Collaine is an employee of Kiril and an Authority Officer will be in touch with parties to arrange a case management call to discuss the next steps in this matter. 

In our experience business will have been impacted by the following, at this stage:

  • Stress
  • Loss of productivity
  • Cost of representation
  • Impact on reputation

For a full read

If you want to read the detail of the employment law case, click here.