The gig economy remains firmly under the spotlight as Pimlico Plumbers loses its fight over the classification of its workers.
Gary Smith worked as a plumber for Pimlico Plumbers for six years. He won an employment tribunal that challenged the company’s opinion that he worked for them as a self-employed contractor. The company had argued that Mr Smith’s status was that of independent contractor, not a worker or employee. They appealed the judgement only for the Court of Appeal to reject it.
This ruling is yet another case which will have implications for the gig economy. The ruling becomes the latest in a succession of legal challenges by gig economy workers who believe they are entitled to rights and benefits as ”workers”, such as the National Minimum Wage and statutory paid holiday.
Other ‘gig economy’ cases
There have been a number of employment disputes, as individuals attempt to upgrade their status from self-employed to worker or employee.
• A cycle courier for CitySprint was successful in a claim to receive minimum pay under the NMW and paid holidays.
• Last year, Deliveroo was ordered to pay its workers the minimum wage unless HM Revenue & Customs or a court decides they work as self-employed.
• Uber could no longer classify its drivers as self-employed after it lost its court battle last year. The firm has since lodged an appeal.
Pimlico Plumbers have indicated that it may appeal to the Supreme Court.