March 18, 2021
The UK Employment Appeals Tribunal decided to reject an appeal by a UK plumbing and heating engineer who worked at Pimlico Plumbers.
The engineer, who had previously won a landmark legal battle against Pimlico Plumbers over his labor rights, had lost his offer to claim a vacation pay of £ 74,000 in 2019.
At that point, the Croydon Employment Tribunal ruled that plumbing and heating engineer Gary Smith, who worked at Pimlico from 2005 to 2011, had not submitted his vacation pay claim quickly enough. The tribunal had also dismissed his disability discrimination lawsuit.
However, he appealed the decision, but the court has now decided to dismiss the appeal and uphold the Croydon Tribunal’s decision.
This latest decision could be a disappointment for gig economy workers.
The long-running case began in 2017 when Smith successfully sued Pimlico after the company refused to cut its working days and took away his van after suffering a heart attack. Smith then argued that he was entitled to basic labor rights – including the national minimum wage and paid vacation, as well as the ability to make discrimination claims. The Supreme Court then granted Pimlico the right to appeal the case and, in a unanimous decision, the court ruled that Smith was an employee and not a self-employed.
In a statement, Charlie Mullins, founder and chairman of Pimlico said: “We have proven again that we are right and Gary Smith’s claims continued to fall on deaf ears with the EAT decision that he is in fact not owed a penny from the company . “
“This is a longstanding case that has received a lot of media attention. I am extremely pleased that Pimlico has been fully upheld by the EAT, and I hope that after nearly a decade in court, this case has finally been settled, ”added Mullins.
For the full decision, click here.