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Pimlico Plumber wins employment case

On 13 June 2018, a plumber won a Supreme Court case for working rights in a expected to have huge ramifications for freelance workers.

Gary Smith worked solely for Pimlico Plumbers for six years. Despite being VAT-registered and paying self-employed tax, he claimed he was entitled to workers' rights, the court ruled.

The ruling will be closely read by others with similar disputes, many of whom work for firms in the so-called gig economy.

An employment tribunal was "entitled to conclude" that Mr Smith was a worker, the court ruled. As a worker Mr Smith would be entitled to employment rights, such as holiday and sick pay.

Immediate legal comment is that this comment does not establish a blanket right for all freelancers to claim workers' rights. Each case will still depend on its own merits. Nevertheless, the case sets a powerful precedent for other freelancers. [18.06]