Pimlico Plumbers’ Supreme Court defeat
The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a plumber who brought a case against his former employer, Pimlico Plumbers.
The Supreme Court dismissed Pilmico’s appeal and upheld the decision that Mr Smith was in fact a ‘worker’ and should therefore be entitled to holiday pay and other basic workers’ rights.
Mr Smith worked for Pimlico Plumbers for nearly 6 years. After suffering a heart attack, Mr Smith asked to reduce his working hours from five days a week to three. Pimlico declined his request and took away his company-branded van.
In April 2012, an employment tribunal (ET) decided that despite being VAT registered and paying self-employed tax, Mr Smith was a ‘worker’ and entitled to workers’ rights.
Pimlico appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and the Court of Appeal. However, both appeals were dismissed.
The Supreme Court has made it clear that the judgment yesterday rested solely on the unique facts of the case, rather than setting out any new legal principles for employers.
While the Supreme Court’s decision is good news for Mr Smith, employers and legal experts were hoping this case would provide clarity over how to determine employment status. Businesses will now look to the Government for new legislation on how to categorise their workforce.