Pimlico Plumbers Win 8 Year Legal battle

Charlie Mullins, Owner Of Pimlico Plumber wrote –

“We took our fight all the way to the UK Supreme Court because Pimlico refused to lay down and let a bunch of vultures use a legal loop-hole to get themselves a payout.

The good news however is that after 8 years of fighting, both the lead case (Gary Smith Vs Pimlico Plumbers) and a small number of other former Pimlico contractors, who were queuing up to make claims, have all been rebuffed.  And the reason is simple, they didn’t have a claim.

The former Pimlico Plumber Gary Smith, who was deemed a ‘worker’ by the UK Supreme Court, earlier this year tried to claim a massive payout, well over half a million pounds, for holiday pay and disability discrimination.  However all his claims were thrown out by an employment tribunal in March and June, and now the others looking to make a quick quid have withdrawn their claims and crawled back where they came from.

To say I’m happy that the truth finally won the day is a huge understatement, but we should never had to go through so much pain to prove we were in the right, and neither should other companies be left exposed to the same types of claims that we had to fight.

There are millions of people working in the so-called ‘gig-economy’ area of the economy, under various models, some honest and progressive, some exploitative, with dark echoes of the Victorian factory.  Thousands of companies, especially in construction, IT and the media have moved to types of self-employment models, which means there are currently millions of people in the UK working at the edge of the law.  This mess must be sorted out!

The situation has become ridiculous and is casting a dark shadow over the UK’s ability to do business effectively, and if we are to have any chance of competing internationally, especially against economies with lower labour costs, we need employment law that has been designed for 21st century working conditions.

This case cost me hundreds of thousands to defend, and the reason I fought tooth and nail over so many years was because one man, and his legal team, were attempting to use legal loop-holes, and the outdated nature of the law, to line their own pockets.  That’s why I refused to back down, but we must now stop clogging up our courts with these cases, and the way to do that is to lay down some new laws that take into account modern working practices.

It’s time for action, and a Government that can grasp this nettle will go a long way to recovering the waning trust of the UK business community, who are desperate for long overdue law reform, and moreover some kind of smoke signal that they will again be listed to by Number 10.”

Author: Wayne Bettess

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