Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:14 Jun 2018 Last Updated:25 Oct 2021

Bad news for Gig Economy: Pimlico Plumber has employment rights

Employment Law Advice

The Supreme Court confirmed another blow for the Gig economy. The highest court in the U.K confirmed yesterday that the heating engineer (Gary Smith) was in fact a worker. He had worked for Pimlico Plumbers for 6 years.

Despite the fact that the heating engineer was VAT registered and paid self employed tax, the court confirmed he was a worker.

Worker status means an entitlement to working time rights, minimum wage, paid holiday, rest breaks, statutory sick pay, notice and protection from discrimination.

The Supreme Court found that an important part of his contract was that he had to do the work himself. He was also required to work a minimum amount of hours, wear company uniform, lease a company van and was tracked using GPS. The contract also restricted him from working for a competitor after his engagement ended.

This case may well open the flood gates to other claims by those who are engaged on an allegedly self employed basis. It will also set a precedent for other employment status cases against for example Uber and Deliveroo.

If you are considering engaging someone on a self employed basis, you should be aware of this case and are urged to take advice.

Contact one of our expert employment Solicitors, Kate Brooks, on 01202 057754 or send an email enquiry for further information.