Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Major blow for UK GiG economy as Pimlico Plumber's loses in Supreme Court

via taxi-point
In a major blow for the "Gig" economy, the UK's highest court has ruled in favour of a heating engineer who challenged Pimlico Plumbers employment status. The Supreme Court ruled that the worker was not self-employed in a unanimous decision. The decision is likely to have a knock on effect for companies such as Uber and Addison Lee. The claim was brought against Pimlico Plumbers by Gary Smith, who worked for the company for six years before having a heart attack which lead to him wanting to reduce his hours. His request was dismissed and he was subsequently sacked.
Delivering the judgment, Lord Wilson said:
“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.“More importantly, its term enabled the company to exercise tight administrative control over him during his periods of work for it; to impose fierce conditions on when and how much it paid to him, which were described at one point as his wages; and to restrict his ability to compete with it for plumbing work following any termination of their relationship.“We hold that the tribunal was entitled to conclude that the company cannot be regarded as a client or customer of Mr Smith. So Mr Smith wins the case and the [employment] tribunal can proceed to examine his claims as a worker.”

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