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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 was in the business of selling and delivering concrete. Previously they had hired a haulage contractor to deliver the concrete to the customers, but had terminated this contract. They created a system of contracting with individuals as owner/drivers, some of whom had previously worked directly for RMC (including Mr Latimer). HIs contract bound him to purchase a delivery truck from a specified company under specified terms, and make this vehicle available to RMC at all times (52 weeks a year) for the efficient delivery of ready-mixed concrete within range of his base depot. When RMC applied to the UK government for a ruling on status for PAYE purposes, Mr Latimer was declared to be an employee. RMC appealed to the High Court, Queens bench.


MacKenna J reversed the original decision, 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:

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

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