Employment Cases Update

Smith v Pimlico Plumbers Ltd UKEAT/0211/19/DA, UKEAT/0003/20/DA & UKEAT/0040/20/DA

Date published: 29/03/2021

Appeal against the ET’s judgment dismissing the Claimant’s holiday pay claim for being out of time. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimant, a plumbing and heating engineer, worked for the Respondent from 2005 until 2011, during which time the Respondent maintained that the Claimant was a self-employed independent contractor, without entitlement to paid annual leave. When the Respondent suspended the Claimant, and required him to return equipment and a van, the Claimant regarded this as a fundamental breach entitling him to terminate the contract. The Claimant brought a claim in 2011 for holiday pay and for disability discrimination in relation to his alleged dismissal. The ET decided that he was an "employee" of the Respondent, and its decision was upheld by the EAT, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. In 2019, the ET dismissed the holiday pay claim for being out of time (and refused a reconsideration application), and it dismissed the disability discrimination claim. The Claimant appealed against the dismissal of his holiday pay claim – on grounds including that the ET had misdirected itself in law and/or misconstrued the CJEU's decision in King v Sash Window Workshop [2018] IRLR 142 (C-214/16) and that it had been wrong to apply Bear Scotland v Fulton [2015] ICR 221 – and against the refusal of the reconsideration application. [The Claimant's appeal against the dismissal of the disability discrimination claim is the subject of a separate EAT ruling.]

The EAT, having extensively reviewed the legislative provisions and relevant case law, held that the ET had not erred in law and had been entitled to reach all of its conclusions on the evidence before it.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.