Pimlico appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court

10 August 2017

For the first time, the country’s top court will rule on the gig economy debate as Pimlico Plumbers’ (‘Pimlico’) appeal to the Supreme Court has been accepted. Earlier this year Pimlico lost an employment status case brought forward by Mr Smith after he suffered a heart attack and was denied workers’ rights. Pimlico believe that Mr Smith should be classed as an independent contractor as he was providing his own materials and was paid a higher rate than he would have been under the PAYE system. However, the Court of Appeal ruled that Mr Smith was a worker and was entitled to basis employment rights. This was based specifically on the fact that his contract clearly demonstrated the expectation that we would provide his services personally.

The appeal, which will reportedly be held in 2018, will have a huge bearing on businesses who hire self-employed contractors. Since tribunal fees have been scrapped there has been a trend of court proceedings involving worker status and the gig economy including Uber, Addison Lee and Amazon. See our earlier articles by clicking on the link of the case you are interested in.

See our earlier article on Pimlico’s case at the Court of Appeal here.

Aspire Comment

This announcement comes a couple of weeks after the publication of the Taylor review which recommended that the “worker” status should be maintained but renamed as “dependent contractor”, with a definitive line between a dependent contractor and a genuinely self-employed individual to reduce vulnerability and exploitation. The Taylor review believes focus should be on control as a factor to determining employment status as opposed to emphasis being placed upon the requirement to perform work personally. We await news on how Government will implement any findings and recommendations.

With the spotlight shining brightly on employment status and the gig economy, are you confident that your self-employed subcontractors are acting in a manner of genuine self-employment?

If you engage self-employed contractors and you have any concerns over their employment status call Aspire on 0121 445 6178 or email enquire@aspirepartnership.co.uk