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Supreme Court hears landmark gig economy case

20th Feb 18 2:55 pm

Pimlico Plumbers case

A landmark case is being heard at the Supreme Court today that could decide employment rights for those working in the ‘gig economy’. The case centres on whether Gary Smith, who worked for Pimlico Plumbers for six years, was self-employed, as the company claims, or a worker.

Smith suffered a heart attack in 2010 and sought to work three days a week, instead of five as he had done previously. Pimlico Plumbers, however, refused Smith’s request and took away his van, which he had hired from the company. Smith claims he was dismissed.

If the Supreme Court rules — in the two-day hearing — that someone in Smith’s position is a worker, it could mean many other people will be entitled to rights such as holiday pay.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal had ruled in February last year that Smith was a worker. Following this, Pimlico Plumbers and its founder Charlie Mullins had appealed against the decision saying that those they send out to repair leaking pipes are self-employed and not “workers”.


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