This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Pimlico Plumbers' worker's ruling has employee rights implications

10 February 2017

A ruling by the Court of Appeal has supported the claims for a self-employed employee to be entitled to basic workers' rights.

It involves the case of Gary Smith, who previously worked as a plumber for Pimlico Plumbers on a self-employed basis.

Although VAT-registered and paying tax on a self-employed basis he worked exclusively for the company for six years, according to BBC News.

After suffering a heart attack, Mr Smith asked to reduce his working week from five days to three, but Pimlico Plumbers rejected this and took back the liveried van he had rented from the business.

Mr Smith claimed he was entitled to basic workers' rights, including bringing discrimination claims and receiving the national minimum wage and paid annual leave.

Following a previous ruling by an employment tribunal, which found the company's plumbers were workers but not employees, the Court of Appeal supported the decision and dismissed the Pimlico Plumbers' appeal.

Company founder Charlie Mullins said plumbers were hired on a self-employed basis, providing their own tools and materials.

Although they did not have workers' rights, he said they were paid significantly more, according to BBC News, and Mr Mullins claimed Mr Smith was paid £80,000.

Mr Smith's solicitor Jacqueline McGuigan described the decision as a "resounding victory", as he had been unable to work for other companies due to being "tightly controlled".

Ms McGuigan further stated that the case had clarified the situation regarding different work models, with the potential to have a wider impact on similar cases.

However, the BBC further reported that the Court of Appeal judges advised caution before deciding if the case had implications for clarifying the position of casual working arrangements.

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the rubbish for general collection.Full Story...

Article image Competency in FM - part one

Competency in FM is a subject that is attracting attention in the industry and rightly so. Legislation and regulations put the duty to comply on a ‘competent person’ and, more often than not, there is no definition of competent.Full Story...

Former editors celebrate PFM Awards’ 25th anniversary

Partnership formed to support green business development

Legionella discovery forced closure of Staffordshire health centre