Employment Cases Update

National Union of Professional Foster Carers (NUPFC) v Certification Officer UKEAT/0285/17/RN

Date published: 30/07/2019

Appeal against the Certification Officer’s decision rejecting the Appellant’s application to be entered on the list of trade unions maintained by the Certification Officer. Appeal dismissed.

The Appellant, which is a trade union set up to represent the interests of foster carers, applied to the Certification Officer (who is the Respondent to this appeal) to be entered on the list of trade unions ("the List") maintained by the Respondent pursuant to s 2 Trade Union Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 ("TULRCA"). The Respondent rejected the application on the grounds that the Appellant was not an organisation consisting "wholly or mainly of workers" within the meaning of s 1 TULRCA, and he found that the relationship between foster carers and local authorities was regulated by a Foster Care Agreement that was not contractual in nature, and he considered himself bound by existing case law to that effect. The Appellant appealed, contending that the Respondent erred, on the basis that previous case law to the effect that foster carers do not work under contracts had been wrongly applied to this case, and that the Respondent's refusal to enter the Appellant on to the List amounted to a breach of Art 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR").

The EAT held that the Respondent was correct to conclude that foster carers did not work under a contract, and so was entitled to refuse to enter the Appellant on to the List; and there was no violation of Art 11 ECHR.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.