Yesterday the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in the case of Clyde & Co LLP v Bates van Winkelhof and it has important implications for LLPs. 

The Supreme Court has determined that LLP members are “workers” under section 230 (3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The case concerned Ms Bates van Winkelhof who was a member of the Clyde & Co LLP and who alleged, amongst other things, that the termination of her membership of the LLP was motivated by the fact that she had allegedly made a protected disclosure and she was thus entitled to assert a whistleblowing claim.  

At a preliminary hearing before the Employment Tribunal, it was determined that she was not protected by the whistleblowing legislation because, as a member of the LLP, she was neither an employee nor worker and thus fell outside the whistleblowing protections.  The question of her status as a worker went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The implications of this decision are far-reaching.  Many LLP members in regulated professions including financial services will be affected by this decision because workers are entitled to the following statutory protections in addition to those that already protect them under the Equality Act 2010:

  • a right to bring whistleblowing claims;
  • a right to be paid National Minimum Wage;
  • a right to auto enrolment for pensions;
  • a right not to suffer unlawful deductions from wages;
  • rights under the Working Time and the Part Time regulations;

If you would like further information on this topic please contact the Edwin Coe Employment Team.



Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

Edwin Coe LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (No. OC326366) and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London WC2A 3TH. "Partner" denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing. Our privacy notice which we are obliged to give you under the GDPR is available here.

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