Self-employed contractors and the gig economy – keep watching this space!

We reported back in February on the Court of Appeal’s finding that a purportedly self-employed contractor engaged by Pimlico Plumbers was, in fact, a worker.  This finding entitled the contractor, Gary Smith, to proceed with claims for disability discrimination and unlawful deductions from wages (including holiday pay) in the employment tribunal.  These claims arose after Pimlico Plumbers terminated the arrangement with Gary Smith (which had lasted for over four years) four months after he suffered a heart attack.
The Court of Appeal’s judgment was widely reported in the press at the time, with Charlie Mullins, CEO of Pimlico Plumbers, quite vocal in his criticism of the decision.
Pimlico Plumbers has now been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.  The decision reached by the Supreme Court will be significant as the highest authority on the employment status of purportedly self-employed contractors.  It is likely to have implications for the so-called “gig economy”.
Whilst the Supreme Court’s decision may be quite fact specific, it is hoped it will provide some clear guidance to clarify the law on employment and worker status.  A date for the hearing is yet to be set.

Victoria Albon

About Victoria Albon

Victoria has experience of advising on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues. This includes significant experience of defending a wide range of claims in the employment tribunal, including claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination as well as claims for unlawful deductions of wages, holiday pay and under TUPE. Victoria regularly advises on non-contentious matters including the application of TUPE, handling collective redundancy consultations and changing terms and conditions.

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