Posted in Employment Law

Court of Appeal decides “self-employed” plumber has worker status

Another low blow to the Sharing Economy from the UK.

Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith:  a plumber (engaged as a “self-employed operative”),  should be treated as a proper “worker” for employment rights purposes (paid annual leave and the national minimum wage among the main benefits).

The following factors shifted the Court of appeal towards this decision. In fact, the plumber:

  • Was required to wear a uniform,
  • Was required to drive a van bearing the Pimlico logo,
  • Was monitored by Pimlico via GPS,
  • Could be contacted only by the company’s customers,
  • Customer contracts and estimates were issued in the name of Pimlico;
  • Was not allowed to provide a substitute to do his work and largely pointed to personal performance *unless strictly necessary),
  • Had his contract contain post-termination restrictive covenants,
  • Was paid by the company against receipt of an invoice,
  • Had to provide his own tools, equipment and materials,
  • Held personal liability for work performed by him and provided his own professional indemnity insurance,
  • Was taxed as self-employed and was VAT registered;
  • Had to notify the days when he was not available, although the contract did not contain obligations on the company to offer and no obligation on Smith to accept work,
  • Had to perform a minimum amount of hours each week, althogh he could reject particular jobs and he could decide his own working hours.

Source

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Junior Legal Counsel with a remarkable lust for legal and business knowledge

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