A plumber has won a legal battle for working rights in a Supreme Court ruling. It is expected to have huge ramifications for freelance workers across the UK who are classed as self employed contractors in the Gig Economy.
The plumber had worked solely for Pimlico Plumbers for six years and despite being VAT-registered and paying self-employed tax, the court ruled he was entitled to workers’ rights.
He argued his working relationship with Pimlico Plumbers meant he should be classed as an employee rather than a subcontractor and therefore be entitled to certain employment rights.
The worker wanted to reduce his working week from five days to three after suffering a heart attack in April 2011, but Pimlico Plumbers refused the request and took away his branded van.
The employment tribunal found that he was classed as a worker, and therefore could proceed with his claims relating to unlawful wage deduction, statutory leave and disability discrimination.
All cases like Uber, Deliveroo and now Pimlico, are all very different in how they work as companies and employees have different issues.
Therefore, to protect yourself from any claims, try this simple test. If you use people who you think are self-employed contractors, check below to see if you have self- employed subcontractors, workers, or employees.
- Has a contract or other arrangement to provide services personally for reward
- Receives reward is for money or benefit in kind
- Has a limited right to send someone else to do the work
- Must turn up to work even if they don’t want to
- The employer has to have work for them to do as long as the contract lasts
- They aren’t working as part of their own limited company where the employer is the customer
A Self-employed contractor:
- Bids or provide quotes to secure work
- Decides when and how they work
- Can send a substitute
- Are responsible for their own tax and NI
- Do not receive holiday or sick pay when they are unavailable for work
Workers are entitled to certain employment rights. Such as:
- To receive the national minimum wage
- Protection against unlawful deductions from wages
- Statutory minimum level of paid holiday
- Statutory minimum rest breaks
- To not work more than 48 hours on average per week (or they opt out)
- Protection against unlawful discrimination
- Protection for “Whistleblowing”
- To not be treated less favourably if they work part time.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.
If you want to find out more about self employed contractors or how you can protect yourself from potential tribunal claims, give us a call – 01706 565332