EAT upholds £37,000 damages award to barrister who was forced to retire from bench


Re: Ministry of Justice v Blackford (Part Time Workers) [2018] UKEAT 0003/17/LA

The claimant was a barrister and worked part-time as a Recorder. His application for extension of office so that he could continue to sit beyond his statutory retirement age of 70 was refused by the respondent, while a Circuit Judge, accepted as being a relevant full-time comparator, was permitted to work on as a part-time judicial resource. Having found that the claimant was treated less favourably than his full-time comparator without justification, the question of compensation was determined at a separate remedy hearing. The respondent appealed the decisions on both liability and remedy.

The EAT upheld the decision on liability and the award of damages on the basis that this was a breach of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. The MoJ had been ordered to pay the claimant nearly £37,000 after the original employment triunal decided that he had been treated less favourably because he worked part-time. These damages represented the estimated lost earnings for a further two years on the bench.

Claire Darwin was involved in this case.