‘Worker status’ leads to successful claim for Backdated Holiday Pay - MLP Law

‘Worker status’ leads to successful claim for Backdated Holiday Pay

  • Employment Law
  • 10th Mar 2022

Having succeeded in a previous claim, asserting that he was a worker and not self-employed, Mr Smith then capitalised on his worker status by claiming and being awarded £74,000 in unpaid holiday pay – Smith v Pimlico Plumbers [2022].

By aleks

MLP Law

Having succeeded in a previous claim, asserting that he was a worker and not self-employed, Mr Smith then capitalised on his worker status by claiming and being awarded £74,000 in unpaid holiday pay – Smith v Pimlico Plumbers [2022].
 
Facts
Mr Smith worked solely for Pimlico Plumbers and was sent out in one of their vans to do work on behalf of the company. Despite the company’s claim that Mr Smith was self-employed and, as a skilled worker, was in a strong bargaining position, he succeeded in his claim that he was a worker.   
 
Given his worker status, Mr Smith argued that he had been entitled to paid holidays and accordingly submitted a further claim for unpaid holiday pay in respect of the time he had worked for Pimlico Plumbers between 2005 and 2011.  During that time, Mr Smith had taken unpaid holidays and therefore claimed backdated holiday pay, in the amount of £74,000.
 
Law
In upholding the claim, the Judge outlined the following guidance for employers – stating that a worker can only lose the right to take paid annual leave at the end of the leave year, if the employer can show that it:
 
·        specifically and transparently, gave the worker the opportunity to take paid annual leave;
·        encouraged the worker to take paid annual leave; and
·        informed the worker that the right would be lost at the end of the leave year.
 
Comment
The case serves as an important reminder to employers, to be certain of the status of those who carry out work for your business and, more particularly in this instance, to have robust procedures in respect of annual leave for the individuals in your organisation who are entitled to it.
 
If you would like advice from the Employment team at MLP Law in respect of any of the issues raised here or more generally, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 0161 926 9969 or employment@mlplaw.co.uk, or follow us on Twitter @HRHeroUK.

About the expert

Stephen Attree

Managing Partner

Stephen is the Owner of MLP Law and leads our Commercial, IP and Dispute Resolution teams which provide advice on all aspects of the law relating to mergers, acquisitions, financing, re-structuring, complex commercial contracts, standard trading terms, share options, shareholder and partnership agreements, commercial dispute resolution, joint venture and partnering arrangements, IT and Technology law, Intellectual Property, EU and competition law, Brexit and GDPR.

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