Pimlico Plumbers Worker Wins Claim for Employment Status

Pimlico Plumbers Worker Wins Claim for Employment Status

  • Date: Thursday 21st June 2018

The Supreme Court have found in favour of a gig economy plumber in deciding that he is a worker with entitlement to holiday pay and other benefits.

In a case that has been running since 2011, the plumber has successfully argued that he is a worker despite signing an agreement with Pimlico Plumbers describing himself as self-employed, and filing tax returns to this effect.

The outcome means that that simply labelling workers as ‘self-employed’ does not guarantee the corresponding legal status.

The decision of the Supreme Court does not set out new principles of law around worker status and legislation. Instead it may take a number of years for legislation to come into effect. For employers trying to determine the status of their workforce it will continue to be a case by case assessment for each “worker.”

To determine the status of a worker, employers should assess the level of control they have over the individual. Employers should not expect to exercise complete control over staff and at the same time deny that they are workers. In the Pimlico case, the individual had to wear a uniform, work a 40-hour week, was subject to disciplinary rules and was limited in who he could work for after he had left. This gave Pimlico Plumbers enormous control over his activities and undermined the Company’s argument that he was self-employed.

Source: Gavin Parrott

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