Plumber wins case against Pimlico Plumbers
Top UK judges have ruled that tradesman Gary Smith should have been treated as a “worker” by his company ‘Pimlico Plumber’ and allowed him entitlement to vacation and sick pay. The supreme court had found that between August 2005 and April 2011, Gary was not self-employed nor a client of the firm, which enabled him to sue the company under discrimination laws.
Pimlico Plumbers had been sued by Gary for refusing to acknowledge him as a “worker”, instead saying he was self employed and should not have access to paid vacation and sick days.
“Although the contract did provide him with elements of operational and financial independence, Mr. Smith’s services to the company’s customers were marketed through the company,” Judge Nicholas Wilson said in a summary of the case.
However, Charlie Mullins, Pimlico’s chief executive officer rebuked the ruling saying he was “disgusted” with the outcome “For those who think this is a victory for poorly paid workers everywhere, against large corporations who exploit their lack of bargaining power, think again,” he said.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This case has exposed how widely sham self-employment has spread. Bad employers are using every trick in the book to deny staff basic rights. “It’s time to end the Wild West in the gig economy. The government must get tough on rogue bosses and give unions the right to organise in more workplaces. – people shouldn’t have to go to court to get a fair deal at work. Companies that treat their staff like disposable labour must be brought to book.”
The ruling is said to play a significant role in the outcome for companies such as Uber and Deliveroo, who are also facing similar situations with their workers.
What do you think of the ruling?
Related: Plumber salary UK