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UK top court makes landmark ruling on 'gig economy' plumber

June 14, 2018 00:00:00


LONDON, June 13 (AFP): Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a plumber employed in the so-called gig economy had "worker" status in a landmark case that could have major implications for the booming sector.

The country's highest court decided unanimously that Gary Smith was a "worker" for Pimlico Plumbers for nearly six years from 2005, even though his contract described him as a "self-employed operative".

"Although the contract did provide him with elements of operational and financial independence, Mr Smith's services to the company's customers were marketed through the company," said judge Nicholas Wilson, in rejecting the appeal by Pimlico Plumbers.

The ruling allows Smith to pursue a claim of unfair dismissal after he suffered a heart attack, and opens up the whole gig economy to claims by those on flexible contracts that they should also receive benefits afforded to those with worker status, including annual leave.

The case follows a similar ruling in November, when an employment tribunal said that drivers for US ride-hailing company Uber were workers, not self-employed.

Uber is appealing the ruling, with the case now likely to go to the Court of Appeal.

Smith argues that he was unfairly dismissed after trying to reduce his hours following a 2011 heart attack, but Pimlico Plumbers responded that he was self-employed, therefore had no right to make a claim.

A lower court earlier ruled that Smith was a worker because he was required to use the firm's van and was obliged to do a minimum number of hours a week, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court.


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MIDASFIN 23.2 25.5 23.5 25.5 9.9138%
PARAMOUNT 14.9 16.3 15.2 16.3 9.396%
REPUBLIC 21.2 23.3 21.5 23.1 8.9623%
PREMIERLEA 10.5 11.5 10.6 11.4 8.5714%
AZIZPIPES 195.0 214.5 196.7 210.6 8%
SONARBAINS 16.6 18.1 16.7 17.9 7.8313%
RUPALIBANK 40.2 43.7 40.5 42.9 6.7164%
CONTININS 18.4 19.8 18.5 19.6 6.5217%
ASIAINS 17.6 19.3 17.4 18.7 6.25%
RUPALIINS 19.7 21.1 19.6 20.9 6.0914%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
GLAXOSMITH 1100.0 1107.0 1005.0 1006.0 9.3439%
ASIAINS 19.0 19.3 17.4 17.4 9.1954%
AZIZPIPES 214.4 214.5 196.7 197.5 8.557%
MIDASFIN 25.5 25.5 23.5 23.5 8.5106%
SONARBAINS 18.0 18.1 16.7 16.7 7.7844%
PREMIERLEA 11.4 11.5 10.6 10.6 7.5472%
PARAMOUNT 16.3 16.3 15.2 15.2 7.2368%
DHAKABANK 16.6 16.6 15.5 15.5 7.0968%
CONTININS 19.8 19.8 18.5 18.5 7.027%
BNICL 17.7 17.8 16.6 16.6 6.6265%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
NLI1STMF 14.6 13.3 13.2 13.2 -9.589%
SEBL1STMF 13.8 12.7 12.5 12.5 -9.4203%
ACFL 62.6 63.5 56.6 57.0 -8.9457%
KDSALTD 91.5 93.4 84.9 85.3 -6.776%
HRTEX 50.2 52.4 45.5 47.4 -5.5777%
QUEENSOUTH 50.4 51.3 47.1 47.6 -5.5556%
REGENTTEX 24.2 24.7 22.8 23.0 -4.9587%
DESHBANDHU 20.8 21.0 19.7 19.8 -4.8077%
SEMLIBBLSF 8.5 8.2 8.1 8.2 -3.5294%
MHSML 17.2 17.4 16.5 16.6 -3.4884%
COMPANY YCP HIGH LOW CLOSE %CHG
HRTEX 46.1 52.4 45.5 52.4 -12.0229%
ACFL 57.3 63.5 56.6 63.0 -9.0476%
KDSALTD 85.9 93.4 84.9 93.4 -8.03%
QUEENSOUTH 47.3 51.3 47.1 51.3 -7.7973%
SAIHAMTEX 30.5 32.9 30.4 32.9 -7.2948%
MHSML 16.5 17.4 16.5 17.4 -5.1724%
LEGACYFOOT 263.0 279.9 258.2 277.0 -5.0542%
RELIANCINS 47.6 50.0 47.6 50.0 -4.8%
REGENTTEX 23.4 24.7 22.8 24.4 -4.0984%
BDAUTOCA 437.0 468.8 431.5 455.1 -3.9771%