Where does self-employment end and employment begin?

This is an interesting case.

I thought that it was not possible to employ someone full-time on a self-employed basis.

However, the case of the Pimlico plumber is a sobering one for anyone who might engage a self employed basis.

"The Court of Appeal agreed with a tribunal that said he was entitled to basic workers' rights although he was technically self-employed."

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Email me when people reply –


  • I  had a conversation about this subject with the tax man several years ago, and they told me that a self employed person must be able to prove that he is employed by two or more people and he must show that he has provided all his own equipment and vehicle. He must also be paying his own tax and national insurance.

    • correct adrian,

      i have checked this out in past and told all the same. also in addition they are only deamed as self employed if responsible for any loss or profit in work being carried out from being self employed and can nominate any other person to undertake his role at any time etc.

  • Yup, I heard this case today and my first thought was 'hang on, I was told probably 15years ago that I couldn't use self employed labour, if they worked solely for me'.  'We' were part of the construction industry and had to comply.  Always bugged me, especially as I had a mate who was a 'freelance' programmer at the HMRC for many years. 

    Apparently, it is the employers portion of NI that the government miss out on and if they find against the employer, they can claim their out Mr. Pimlico!

  • PRO
    It's a question that has been discussed and even the sharpest of legal brains will come up with a different conclusion to the question asked.
    I myself have in the past employed self employed personnel, although I have grown out of that, at the time my accountant said it was above board and legal.
    It is imperative that who ever you employ as a contractor or as an employee that you cover yourself in all aspects. It might seem a waste of money to join the FSB or have an HR advisor and an accountant, but they know their business just like you know your gardens and lawns.
  • My view is that some employers take on self employed 'staff' to avoid paying NI contribution, holidays, sick leave etc and is a loop hole that need to be plugged. Glad the plumber won his case in my opinion.
  • PRO
    If your self employed you should also be able to choose your own working hours shouldn't you?
This reply was deleted.

Industry Jobs

Help us to build luxury climbing frames and treehouses

Overview This is a fantastic opportunity for a carpenter or a skilled outdoor landscaper with good wood skills to join our team. We are a small yet growing high-end manufacturer and installer of amazing climbing frames, tree houses and zip wires. We’re seeking an installer based in the SE to join the team and cover

Mechanic & Service Support Engineer

Working with a team of dedicated hard working enthusiasts in the Grass & Groundcare machinery industry the successful applicant will be responsible for undertaking the build up, pdi, servicing and repairs of a range of grounds machinery. With a range of ability’s and attributes allowing you to work under your own initiative diagnosing and repairing

Grounds Maintenance Operative

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE OPERATIVES Our client based on the beautiful Jurassic coast is a successful, growing and ambitious organisation providing grounds maintenance services across Dorset and landscaping and safety surfacing throughout the South West. They are a forward thinking company with innovative plans to develop in the future. They are looking to recruit a number of


We are urgently looking for experienced hard landscapers capable of leading a team and turning plans into finished gardens. Immediate start and good rate of pay for the right person. We are members of the Association of Professional Landscapers and a Marshalls registered installer so an eye for detail and top quality finish are essential.

Latest blog post

Trade green waste centres

If you've received help from the Landscape Juice Network and you'd like to say thank you, why not make a small donation?

The site is maintained as an indpendent industry resource and it's become an essential tool for those working in the landscape industry.

Thank you

Phil Voice

Founder Landscape Juice

Make a donation

LJN Sponsor



PRO Supplier

Etesia completes portfolio for Scamblers

Scamblers, based in Bourn, Cambridgeshire, believe they now have a complete portfolio of groundscare machinery after they were confirmed as Etesia UK’s newest dealer.

First established in 1974, the family owned business specialise in…

Read more…

How to Revive a Worn Out Lawn

Is your lawn weedy, mossy, baldy or just plain tired looking? In this blog we’ll show you how to revive your worn out lawn and make your neighbours turn green with envy.


Ireland is one of the best countries in the whole world…

Read more…
Comments: 0

In the first of a several part blog that we are writing, we will explain some of the terms that are often used in lawncare service leaflets and by contractors but many of you out there may not actually understand what they mean!…

Read more…