Judge whistleblower ruling will focus spotlight on ‘crisis’ in courts
Yesterday, the Supreme Court overturned a Court of Appeal judgment and ruled that Judge Claire Gilham was a worker and therefore entitled to whistleblowing protection, after comments she made about the effect of government cuts on the courts.
The appeal focused on whether Judge Gilham worked under contract of employment – making her a “worker” covered under section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and thus eligible to bring a whistleblowing claim against HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
The case comes at a time when the expansion of the gig economy has raised questions concerning worker rights and status, including when people should be classified as employees, workers or independent contractors.
Amanda Lathia commented:
“A ground-breaking decision by the Supreme Court: district judges are now classified as “workers” and can enforce certain employment rights. If judges have rights to bring a whistle-blowing complaint, could this pave the way for similar rights to other office holders beyond the judiciary? Not overnight perhaps, but this is a marked step away from tradition”.
Read the full article in The Times, which can be accessed here.