Pimlico Plumbers wins employment tribunal – despite Supreme Court’s previous workers’ rights ruling

Pimlico Plumbers has won an Employment Tribunal, brought by former Gary Smith who believed he was entitled to holiday pay for the time he spent with the company.
The tribunal, held in Croydon, concluded that this was not the case and rejected his claim. Pimlico is now considering reclaiming its tribunal costs from Mr Smith, which CEO Charlie Mullins, will donate to charity, as well as an option to sue for reputational damages.
The claim first arose eight years ago when Mr Smith sued Pimlico for employment rights, including back-dated holiday pay, despite being a self-employed plumbing contractor and signing a contract to that effect and earning more than £500,000 over three years from the company.
During his time with Pimlico Plumbers, he operated as self-employed and was VAT registered.  He paid taxes on a self-employed basis, bought his own tools and materials, on which he reclaimed tax, also claiming for an office in his home, chose when he wanted to work, and even employed his wife to carry out secretarial tasks for him and offset that as a business expense.
Following a number of hearings to determine Mr Smith’s employment status, including a hearing in the UK Supreme Court, which deemed Mr Smith to be a worker and entitled to certain employment rights, the Employment Tribunal found in favour of the company.
Charlie Mullins, CEO of Pimlico said: “We’ve been through four hearings before this week, all the way to the UK Supreme Court, and each time we have insisted that Pimlico Plumbers has done nothing.
“While the Supreme Court deemed him to be a ‘worker’ and entitled to associated rights, the tables have been turned and common sense prevailed in the actual Employment Tribunal and Mr Smith has been told that he wasn’t entitled to a penny.
“This decision is a vindication of everything that Pimlico Plumbers stands for.  It also sends a message to those who have taken advantage of this case to peddle their poisonous bile about my company, and that they are in truth just a bunch of small-minded haters.
“I also would like to once again make it very clear that Pimlico engineers are the best paid in the industry, with average earnings topping £100,000 per annum, with many able to earn far more.
“During the eight years that this case has been bouncing around the UK’s highest courts there have been many lies and false comparisons made with gig economy taxi firms, food delivery services, and courier companies, which have done actual damage to Pimlico’s public image.
“As well as the assault on our integrity defending Pimlico against Mr Smith’s claims has cost the company hundreds of thousands of pounds, and after the tribunal’s decision I have asked my lawyers to go after costs from Mr Smith, which will be donated to charity.
“I also think that I have a case to sue for damages, since as I have already said, there are some serious and obvious issues of reputational harm at stake here, which I am eager to pursue.”

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