Pimlico Plumbers said it has seen six further ‘gig economy’ employment claims against the company withdrawn following the conclusion of heating engineer Gary Smith’s case this year, which found the business was not at fault.
Pimlico CEO and founder Charlie Mullins OBE said the original case cost the company hundreds of thousands of pounds to fight but “demonstrates the need for government reform of employment law to protect small and medium-sized businesses”.
Following the completion of the eight-year legal battle, he challenged the government to resolve UK employment law and the uncertainty surrounding the gig economy.
He added: “In a post Brexit world our next government must sort out the ‘gig-economy’ shadow hanging over businesses. Employment law in the UK is in a mess and a new government that wants the support and trust of the business community must stop making promises about reforming the so-called ‘gig-economy’ and start delivering modern, fit for purpose, employment laws suitable for 21st century Britain.
“There are millions of people working in this 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.”