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Ready Mixed Concrete v Minister of Pensions

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Ready Mixed Concrete (South East) Ltd v Minister of Pensions and National Insurance [1968] 2 QB 497 this was a case heard before the High Court concerning one of the tests of employment, namely control.



RMC is in the business of selling concrete, previously they had hired a contractor to deliever the concrete to the customers, but had terminated his contract and decided to offer the jobs to RMC's current staffs. Mr Latimer signed up for the hire-purchase agreement for the lorry and started to deliever concrete for RMC. The employer RMC argued that because Mr Latimer was an independent contractor they needed not pay for his national insurance.


MacKenna J reversed the finding of the lower court and held that Mr Latimer was in fact a "small business man" and concluded that the contract was not of service, but of carriage.

Test for contract of service:

  • Is the worker subject to a right of control?
  • Did the worker provide personal service in return for remuneration?
  • Are the other provisions of the contract consistent with a contract of service?

MacKenna J also placed significant emphasis on the existence of wages/remuneration, the absence of which there would not be consideration, hence a contract would not have been formed.

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