UK pipe fitter wins landmark employment status appeal UK pipe fitter wins landmark employment status appeal

UK pipe fitter wins landmark employment status appeal
28 Feb 2018

A British pipe fitter has won a landmark appeal against both a recruitment agency and payroll company after his status was determined to be that of a worker rather than self-employed.

According to the Recruiter, Pipe fitter Russ Blakely worked at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire and was employed by contractor and recruitment agency, On-Site Recruitment Solutions. His wages were paid through Heritage Solutions City, a separate payroll company.

Supported by the Unite trades union, Blakely took his case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), claiming he was denied holiday pay and employer’s National Insurance Contributions.

An earlier tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, had rejected Blakely’s claim, ruling that he was self-employed and not a worker. But the EAT has now ruled that, while his contract stated he was self-employed, he had to work at the direction of his bosses and so should have been classified as a worker.

In addition, On-Site Recruitment Solutions had told Blakely that his salary must be handled by payroll company, Heritage Solutions City, which charged £18 (US$25) a week to process pay.

Compensation, which is expected to be around £2,500 (US $3,488), is to be decided at a later hearing.

Julia Kermode, chief executive of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association, said: "The case would never have got to tribunal had a fully-compliant umbrella company been engaged, one that employs workers under a contract of employment. We are sick and tired of our sector always being tarnished with the same brush due to actions of non-compliant firms that do not provide professional employment services.”

As a result, the Association would welcome potential regulation of the umbrella sector “if it is sufficiently broad to ensure a minimum standard and does actually rid the sector of cowboys", she added.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

A British pipe fitter has won a landmark appeal against both a recruitment agency and payroll company after his status was determined to be that of a worker rather than self-employed.

According to the Recruiter, Pipe fitter Russ Blakely worked at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire and was employed by contractor and recruitment agency, On-Site Recruitment Solutions. His wages were paid through Heritage Solutions City, a separate payroll company.

Supported by the Unite trades union, Blakely took his case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), claiming he was denied holiday pay and employer’s National Insurance Contributions.

An earlier tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, had rejected Blakely’s claim, ruling that he was self-employed and not a worker. But the EAT has now ruled that, while his contract stated he was self-employed, he had to work at the direction of his bosses and so should have been classified as a worker.

In addition, On-Site Recruitment Solutions had told Blakely that his salary must be handled by payroll company, Heritage Solutions City, which charged £18 (US$25) a week to process pay.

Compensation, which is expected to be around £2,500 (US $3,488), is to be decided at a later hearing.

Julia Kermode, chief executive of the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association, said: "The case would never have got to tribunal had a fully-compliant umbrella company been engaged, one that employs workers under a contract of employment. We are sick and tired of our sector always being tarnished with the same brush due to actions of non-compliant firms that do not provide professional employment services.”

As a result, the Association would welcome potential regulation of the umbrella sector “if it is sufficiently broad to ensure a minimum standard and does actually rid the sector of cowboys", she added.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing