LONDON – Britain's Court of Appeal has ruled that a plumber was entitled to employment rights in a case seen as a key test of labor rules in the new gig economy.
The case Friday was brought by Gary Smith, who worked for Pimlico Plumbers for six years until 2011. The plumber claims he was dismissed following a heart attack and sued, arguing he was entitled to rights like sick pay. The company says he was self-employed.
The case has implications for thousands of independent contractors in Britain's so-called gig economy, where people work job-to-job with little security and few employment rights.
Such employment, often for app-based services for everything from food delivery to health care, has surged as the Internet cuts the link between jobs and the traditional workplace.