The Supreme Court has today dismissed Pimlico Plumbers (PP)’s appeal against a tribunal decision that plumber Gary Smith was a ‘worker’ (ie an individual who has undertaken to perform work personally for someone who is not his client or customer) with workers’ rights. The law is largely unchanged by the ruling, and its fact-specific nature means that it only provides limited guidance for similar cases.
In Pimlico Plumbers Ltd v Smith, the Supreme Court found that Mr Smith’s ability to choose to use a substitute did not prevent there being a sufficient obligation of personal service, given that he could only use a substitute from the ranks of other PP operatives bound by similar obligations. The Court framed the test slightly differently from earlier courts, suggesting that it would be helpful to assess whether the “dominant feature of the contract” remained an obligation of personal performance. Factors justifying the tribunal’s conclusion that it did included that (i) the requirement for substitutes to be PP operatives indicated that the company had a clear interest in who performed the work, as opposed to caring simply that the work got done, and (ii) the written contract itself didn’t mention the right to substitute, and set out requirements of Mr Smith expressly (as to his skills, appearance etc) rather than referring to requirements extending to him or any substitute. Continue reading
On 18 May 2018, HMRC published a consultation document entitled “Off-payroll working in the private sector” with the aim of tackling what it perceives as high levels of non-compliance in the private sector with the existing off-payroll working regime (HMRC predicts the costs of such non-compliance will reach £1.2 billion in 2022/23 if this issue is not dealt with).
We have compiled a quick update regarding the progress of labour hire licensing laws:
The Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 (Vic) (Bill) was debated in Victoria’s upper house on Friday (see Hansard here). Some clauses of the Bill were agreed (including the definition of ‘labour hire services’). Minister Pulford (ALP) said certain arrangements will be: Continue reading
The Global Pound Conference series – a unique and ambitious initiative to inform how civil and commercial disputes are resolved in the 21st century – brought together over 4000 dispute resolution stakeholders, at 28 conferences spanning 24 countries worldwide. Continue reading
Victoria introduces new Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Act)
In our previous post here, we discussed the proposed changes to existing long service leave entitlements for Victorian employees.
Since then, minor amendments to the Bill were introduced and on 8 May 2018 the Victorian Parliament passed the Long Service Leave Bill 2017 (Vic). The Bill received Royal Assent on 15 May 2018 and the Act will commence by 1 November 2018. Continue reading
Greenwoods + Herbert Smith Freehills have highlighted the above key changes employers should be aware of following the Federal Budget announcement in May 2018. Continue reading
The Hong Kong Competition Commission (the “Commission“) recently released an advisory bulletin indicating that it has encountered a number of situations where businesses have engaged in employment-related practices which may give rise to competition concerns. Our employment and competition teams consider the key issues identified in the advisory bulletin and suggest strategies which organisations may adopt to minimize the risk of competition concerns arising.
The ‘Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining’ report for October-December 2017 was released by the Department of Jobs and Small Business in the first week of May 2018.
If you have enterprise agreement negotiations coming up in 2018, this data may be useful for benchmarking.