Recent plumber case puts spanner in the works

Employment status

The case of a Pimlico plumber who has questioned his precise employment status examines the entitlement of individuals working in an increasingly atypical and flexible way.

The Pimlico model involves the allocation of work to plumbers who the business claimed were self-employed. Being self-employed, the company argued that it did not owe a legal obligation to its plumbers outside the terms of the service contract.
 
Echoing the thought process behind the recent Uber case, the Court of Appeal has found that the claimant plumber was entitled to basic worker rights despite being technically self-employed. The ruling found that Pimlico could not have its cake and eat it by expecting its plumbers to commit to its model, without also taking on basic legal responsibilities.
 
The case has made a splash as its implication could be far reaching in an increasingly dynamic labour market. It reinforces that the label isn’t determinative and what really matters is the practical reality of the relationship between the parties.

If you are worried about claims in the pipeline, any of our Employment team would be pleased to advise.

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