Employment Cases Update

Pimlico Plumbers ‘gig economy’ appeal starts in Supreme Court today

Plumbing firm's appeal starts at 10.30 today

Employment Claims without a Lawyer 2nd edition published March 2018

The Pimlico Plumbers appeal to the Supreme Court starts today. The 2 day hearing for the appeal, hailed as a key test of the 'gig economy' and the meaning of worker in that context, begins at 10.30 this morning.

The firm is appealing against a ruling that the claimant was a worker within the meaning of section 230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and thus had jurisdiction to consider complaints of direct disability discrimination, discrimination by reason of failure to make reasonable adjustments, and in respect of holiday pay as well as in respect of unauthorised deductions from wages. Appeals to the EAT and Court of Appeal were dismissed. 

The Supreme Court is considering two issues:

  1. Whether the respondent was a 'worker' within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and Regulation 2 of the Working Time Regulations 1998;
  2. Whether the respondent was in "employment" within s.83(2)(a) of the Equality Act 2010.

The judgment under appeal is Pimlico Plumbers & Anor v Smith [2017] EWCA Civ 51. The original Employment Appeal Tribunal decision is Pimlico Plumbers Ltd & Anor v Smith UKEAT/0495/12/DM.

As ever nowadays the hearing will be televised live on the Supreme Court Live page.