Following our blog on the gig economy (see link) we highlighted the recent challenges made to the ‘self-employed’ status of individuals working within the new tech-based service industries such as Uber and Deliveroo.

In a further development on that theme, in the more traditional business of plumbing, the Court of Appeal last week handed down its judgment in the case of Pimlico Plumbers v Gary Smith which looked at the employment status of the ‘Pimlico plumber’ Gary Smith.

Mr Smith was a plumber who carried out work for Pimlico Plumbers between 2005 and 2011; he was registered as self-employed and made full use of the corresponding tax advantages. However, he argued he was a worker or an employee of Pimlico Plumbers and was found to be a worker because (i) he undertook to personally provide services, and (ii) Pimlico Plumbers exercised tight control over many aspects of Mr Smith’s work.

This judgment adds to the growing body of case law relating to workers who have been working as ‘self-employed’ but who have challenged that status before the Employment Tribunal. It is increasingly apparent from the case law that the Courts and Tribunals are likely to extend worker rights (holiday, protection from discrimination, National Minimum Wage) to anyone who lacks the commercial independence of the genuinely self-employed.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or any employment issue, please contact Linky Trott – Partner, or any member of the Edwin Coe Employment team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.

Please also see a copy of our terms of use here in respect of our website which apply also to all of our blogs.

Latest Blogs See All

Share by: