Purplebricks

Purplebricks Faces Legal Action For Holiday And Pension Payments

More than 100 workers are preparing legal action against online estate agency Purplebricks as they believe they are entitled to holiday pay and pension contributions.  This is the latest in a string of high-profile employment status cases (such as Uber, Pimlico Plumbers, Addison Lee, and Amazon) where self-employed people appear to be workers in employment law.

Purplebricks operated a business model that utilises self-employed territory owners who look after a large geographical area with local property experts working under them.  Interestingly, back in August, the organisation announced it would be employing all agents directly, providing them with holiday and sick pay, and making pension contributions on their behalf.  However, their current practices do not absolve any historical wrongdoing, deliberate or otherwise.

Contractors 4 Justice (C4J) are seeking to gather over 2,500 property agents for their claim.  Peter Fletcher, a consultant for C4J, estimates the claim to be worth between £20 million to £100 million, with each agent potentially being owed thousands of pounds each.

In a statement Purplebricks said “We have always taken legal advice in regards to our licensing model — and the advice is very clear that these individuals were operating as limited companies, running their own business and with full control over their own staff.”

Of course, any self-employed agents seeking to be treated as a worker would be sensible to consider whether they paid appropriate tax through their limited company in respect of their Purplebricks income, i.e. if they were inside IR35 did they make a deemed payment to HMRC accordingly.  Although tax legislation and employment status legislation are not aligned, it seems likely that HMRC could argue the case if they have not received sufficient monies from someone who’s employment status is found to be a worker.

We will be monitoring this case with interest and will keep you updated of developments.

About the author

Share this post

Sign up to our Newsletter

Follow IWORK on social

Subscribe to our Podcast

Latest Articles

News

Umbrella Company Loses £11m Tax Tribunal

A tax tribunal has concluded that an umbrella company has a potential £11m liability due to their overarching contract not being one of employment.  The

Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter

As we grow our community we want to ensure that we develop the best services for you specifically. It will really help us if you could answer two very quick questions:

Subscribe to Podcast Series

Subscribe to our Podcasts through Apple Podcasts by following the links below:

All About Self Employment

Empowering Agency Workers

Submit Review