Part-time workers and pension accrual

12 November 2018

The CJEU has held that service before the deadline for implementation of an anti-discrimination directive, does count for calculating a pension.


With thanks to Daniel Barnett’s employment law bulletin for providing this case summary.


The case O'Brien v Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is likely to signal the end of the long-running judicial pension claims.

A previous appeal to the Supreme Court and referral to the CJEU had decided that part-time judges were entitled to a pro-rata pension. When that case was sent back to the employment tribunal for calculation of the amount, the MoJ argued that only time spent after 7th April 2000 (the final implementation date for the Part-time Work Directive) was to count.

The tribunal rejected this argument but the MoJ won on appeals to the EAT and Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court referred the matter to the CJEU who decided that:

"in a which the accrual of pension entitlement extends over periods both prior to and after the deadline for transposition of [a directive]...the calculation of those rights is governed by the provisions of that directive, including with regard to the periods of service prior to its entry into force."

The CJEU went on to decide that people who retired before 7th April 2000 would not be covered by the Directive. That was where the cut off should be drawn.