Employment Tribunal finds MOJ discriminated against judges who “sit-up” in higher courts

On 14 December 2021, Employment Judge Williams held that certain salaried judges who “sit-up” in higher courts are part-time workers at those times, and entitled to additional remuneration.

Robin Allen QC and Chesca Lord, instructed by Leigh Day, represent approximately 50 judicial claimants. The majority are Circuit Judges (CJs) or Senior Circuit Judges (SCJs) who have regularly acted as judges of the High Court pursuant to s.9 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 for no additional pay beyond their CJ/SCJ salary. The claimants successfully argued that when sitting in the High Court, they were part-time workers, who were treated less favourably than their full time High Court Judge comparators. The Employment Tribunal held that there was no evidence that the MOJ had reviewed their pay policies in light of the Part-Time Worker Regulations 1998, and such treatment could not be objectively justified.

The Employment Tribunal also found that a District Judge (DJ) who held a concurrent Recorder appointment was a part-time worker while sitting as a Recorder during his salaried DJ time. He was treated less favourably than a full time CJ comparator by only being paid his DJ salary rather than at per diem CJ pay rates. The respondents’ justification arguments also failed in his case.

The judgment is available here: Dodds & Ors – Judgment & Reasons – 16.12.21