07:47, February 10 380 0 theguardian.com

2017-02-10 07:47:12
Pimlico loses appeal against plumber's working status

Pimlico Plumbers has lost a court battle over the status of its workers, in the latest legal ruling on employment status in the “gig economy”.

Plumber Gary Smith, who worked for the company for six years until 2011, had already won an employment tribunal challenging the firm’s view that he was self-employed.

The court of appeal rejected an appeal lodged by Pimlico Plumbers, founded by thye Conservative party donor Charlie Mullins.

Smith’s solicitor Jacqueline McGuigan said the ruling would have wider implications for gig economy firms such as Deliveroo or Uber, both of which are embroiled in rows about employment status.

“We are absolutely delighted,” McGuigan said. “The decision brings welcome clarity to the issue of employment status relating to work in parts of the economy.”

The ruling is the latest decision to be handed down in a series of courtroom challenges launched by gig economy workers who feel they should be afforded the same benefits as full-time employees, such as holiday pay and pension.

A cycle courier working for the delivery firm CitySprint won the right earlier this year to paid holidays and minimum pay.

Food delivery firm Deliveroo was told last year it must pay its workers the minimum wage unless they are ruled self-employed by a court of HM Revenue & Customs.

Ride-hailing app Uber lost the right to designate its drivers as self-employed last year, in a ruling it has since appealed against.