FBU and judges’ discrimination cases combine following conflicting judgments

Written by Natalie Tuck

Separate pensions discrimination cases for judges and firefighters are expected to be heard as one case by the Employment Tribunal, following original conflicting judgments.

The tribunal for the firefighters in February this year ruled that transitional arrangements for the 2015 Firefighter’s Pension Scheme did not discriminate on the grounds of age, sex or race.

However, in the case for the judges, the Employment Tribunal held that the Ministry of Justice and the Lord Chancellor had discriminated against younger judges by requiring them to leave the Judicial Pension Scheme in April 2015, whilst allowing older judges to remain in the scheme, and that this discrimination could not be justified. The government, however, has appealed the decision.

Not satisfied with the ruling for the firefighters, the FBU has also decided to appeal the decision. It has now been given approval that there are reasonable grounds to appeal and can proceed.

Due to the overlapping issues in the two cases, the Employment Tribunal has made an order to consolidate the appeals, meaning they would hear both appeals through the same process. However, at this stage the judges could raise an objection to the consolidation.

Commenting, FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “We are advised that a consolidated appeal is advantageous for us, since it avoids the contradictory outcomes which resulted from the first employment tribunal cases.”

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