In February 2017, the Court of Appeal upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that former plumber Mr Smith was in fact a worker as opposed to a self-employed contractor and therefore, was entitled to basic employment rights, including holiday pay and the national minimum wage.
The Employment Tribunal ruled that although Mr Smith was treated as being self-employed for tax and VAT purposes, he was required under a contract to wear a uniform, drive a van leased from Pimlico branded with the company logo and work a minimum number of hours per week, which all proved to be important factors when deciding that he was a worker under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
Pimlico Plumbers now seeks to appeal this high profile decision at the Supreme Court and it is expected that the ruling will provide clarity for businesses within the ‘gig economy’ such as Deliveroo and Uber as their working practices continue to face on-going scrutiny.
The managing director of Pimlico Plumbers has said that he “completely condemns disreputable companies who are using fake self-employment to swindle workers out of pay and conditions”, however maintains that his company are not doing that. He is determined to prove to the Supreme Court that “by using self-employed status Pimlico Plumbers is doing nothing wrong, and what’s more is both morally and legally in the right.”
We will be keeping a close eye on the decision of the Supreme Court and the implications for both employers and workers as a result.
Please feel free to contact us should you require any advice regarding employment status on 0333 222 1855 or by clicking here.