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UK Supreme Court rejects appeal from Pimlico Plumbers in landmark gig economy case

Pimlico Plumbers Ltd and another (Appellants) v Smith (Respondent) [2018] UKSC 29 On appeal from [2017] EWCA Civ 51

The United Kingdom (UK) Supreme Court has ruled that a plumber classed as self-employed was in fact a worker, in a landmark case for the ‘gig’ economy.
The court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision after a further appeal from Pimlico Plumbers which claimed that Gary Smith, who worked at the company for six years, was self-employed.
The Supreme Court held that Mr Smith, despite paying self-employed tax and being VAT registered, was a worker under the Employment Rights Act 1996, Working Time Regulations 1998 and the Equality Act.  Worker status means entitlement to benefits including holiday pay.
The decision has the potential to impact the rights of many people classified as independent contractors across the UK.
The UK Human Rights Blog’s article can be read here.



Employment Law