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Bring on the substitute

16 August 2011 / Anne Redston
Issue: 4317 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Employees , Income Tax
ANNE REDSTON explains substitution, sham and the Supreme Court’s decision in the recent Autoclenz case


  • The facts of Autoclenz and the contractual terms.
  • The court’s ability to set aside the term of the contract.
  • The importance of the parties’ conduct and behaviour.
  • Was there a genuine right of substitution?

Substitution is like magic. It changes employment into self-employment reducing contributions to the Exchequer and relieving engagers of expensive employment law obligations. Or does it?

In July 2011 the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in Autoclenz v Belcher [2011] UKSC 41. The main issue was whether substitution clauses – which allow an individual to send another person to perform the work in his place –...

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