On appeal from: [2015] EWCA Civ 1368

This appeal considers when time starts to run for a claim by a part-time judge to a pension under the Part-time Workers’ Directive 97/81, as applied by the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/1551 (PTWR). The appellants were four judges, each of whom has held one or more appointments as fee-paid-part-time judges, in some cases moving between such part-time and full-time salaried appointments. The appellants brought claims on the basis that they had been the subject of less favourable treatment in the provision to them of a judicial pension.

The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the appeals. It held that as judicial officers are not employed under a contract of employment, the PTWR must be construed in an artificial context. References to the “terms of a contract” can at best be applied by analogy. In determining this case, it must be borne in mind that the judicial pension scheme is not based upon individual appointments. Instead, regard must be had to the composite term “qualifying judicial office”, which may include a number of different appointments. That special feature of the scheme must be taken into account when making the comparison between part-time and full-time judges called for by the PTWR, as it may be misleading or unfair to direct attention to the nature and timing of individual part-time appointments. There is no reason why entitlement to pension should be governed by the varied combinations of fee-paid or salaried offices undertaken by different individual judges.

For judgment, please download: [2019] UKSC 60
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing please visit: Supreme Court website: 8 March 2017 morning session, 8 March 2017 afternoon session, 9 March 2017 morning session, 9 March 2017 afternoon session and 11 July 2019 morning session