Construction Industry Training Board v Labour Force Ltd

[1970] 3 All ER 220

Between: Construction Industry Training Board
And: Labour Force Ltd

Queen's Bench Division

Judges: Cooke J
Fisher J
Lord Parker CJ

Subject References:
Master and servant
Contract of service
Incidents of contract
Agreement by one with another to provide services to a third
Whether contract of service or contract sui generis

Case References:
Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance - [1968] 1 All ER 433; [1968] 2 QB 497; [1968] 2 WLR 775, Digest Supp

Judgment date: 14 July 1970

The respondents were engaged in supplying labour to the construction industry. When building contractors required labour, the respondents agreed with the contractors to supply workmen at certain rates payable by the contractors to the respondents. The workmen were paid by the respondents on the basis of information relating to the times worked provided by the contractors, but the respondents had no control over the work carried out by the workmen for the contractors and the contractors had the right to terminate any workman's engagement. On being allotted to particular contractors the workmen received from the respondents an 'Information Card', containing terms and conditions of employment, on the back of which was a declaration made by the workmen, which in each case contained the following term: 'I hereby certify that I am engaged by [the respondents] on a Sub-Contract Basis. I further declare that I shall be responsible for my own and any of my employees' P A Y E Income Tax Returns, National Insurance Contributions and Holiday with Pay payments or stamps.' On the question of the nature of the contractual relationships in existence between the respondents, the workmen and the contracts,


No contract of any kind was made between the contractors and the workmen who were supplied by the respondents to the contractors (see p 223 c, p 225 h, and p 226 g, post).
As no contractual relationship was formed between contractors and workmen, the respondents were not acting as an employment agency; the respondents contracted as principals with the workmen, who were to be paid on agreed terms for the work carried out by them for the contractors (see p 223 g, p 225 h and p 226 g, post).
In all the circumstances of the case the contracts into which the workmen entered with the respondents were not contracts of service (see p 224 g and h, p 225 d and h, and p 226 e f and g, post).
Alternatively, the contracts entered into by the workmen were not contracts of service or contracts for services but contracts sui generis, since the workmen had agreed with the respondents to render services to third persons, the contractors (see p 225 f and h, and p 226 g, post).

The facts are set out in the judgment of Cooke J.


For contracts of service generally, see 25 Halsbury's Laws (3rd Edn) 455-459, paras 884-889, and for cases on the subject, see 34 Digest (Repl) 43-55, 179-278.


This was an appeal by the Construction Industry Training Board from a decision of the Industrial Tribunal (chairman Rt Hon Sir John Clayden), dated 12 February 1970, allowing an appeal by the respondents, Labour Force Ltd, against their assessment by the board to an industrial training levy of £12,000 under the Industrial Training Levy Construction Board Order 1966.

Appeal dismissed.