Buzz People

Plumber wins workers' rights battle

A plumber has won a legal battle for working rights in a Supreme Court ruling expected to have huge ramifications for freelance workers.
Gary Smith had worked solely for Pimlico Plumbers for six years.
Despite being VAT-registered and paying self-employed tax, 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.
Pimlico Plumbers chief executive Charlie Mullins said he was "disgusted by the approach taken to this case by the highest court in the United Kingdom".
Mr Mullins said: "This was a poor decision that will potentially leave thousands of companies, employing millions of contractors, wondering if one day soon they will get nasty surprise from a former contractor demanding more money, despite having been paid in full years ago.
"It can only lead to a tsunami of claims," he added.
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