Court of Appeal allows appeal in professional football referees employment status case

The Court of Appeal has handed down its judgment in HMRC v Professional Game Match Officials Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1370 concerning the employment status of professional football referees.  The First-tier Tribunal had found that the referees were not PGMOL’s employees and the Upper Tribunal upheld that conclusion.  The Court of Appeal has allowed HMRC’s appeal, determining that the FTT and Upper Tribunal both erred in law in their approaches to the question of mutuality of obligation and upholding the Upper Tribunal’s determination that the FTT had also erred in its approach to the issue of control.  The Court of Appeal has remitted the matter to the FTT to consider, on the basis of its original findings of fact, whether there were sufficient mutuality of obligation and control in the individual contracts for them to be contracts of employment.


Akash Nawbatt QC and Sebastian Purnell represented HMRC. 

Georgia Hicks represented PGMOL, led by Jonathan Peacock QC. 


To read a full copy of the judgment, please click here

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