Research by Abi Adams and Jeremias Prassl wins ESRC Outstanding Impact in Public Policy Prize

Research conducted by Dr Abi Adams and Dr Jeremias Prassl has been recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council’s 2018 Outstanding Impact in Public Policy Prize.

At the ESRC Celebrating Impact Event in July 2018, Dr Adams was awarded the Outstanding Impact in Public Policy Prize for her research with Dr Prassl, which contributed to the unanimous Supreme Court ruling that employment tribunal fees introduced in 2013 were unlawful. Their research evidence was presented in a co-written article published in Modern Law Review, 'Vexatious Claims: Challenging the Case for Employment Tribunal Fees', which highlighted the adverse incentives for claimants of having to pay up to £1,200 to go to an employment tribunal.

Dr Adams, Associate Professor of Economics at Oxford, explained that their argument was based on whether:

The financial disincentive of going to a tribunal is so significant that your access to justice has been denied.

Researching different types of atypical employment in 2016, Dr Adams found that the number and value of employment tribunal claims had undergone a significant reduction in late spring 2013, shortly after the fees were introduced in March of that year. Working with Dr Prassl, she presented evidence that these costs caused claimants to make a loss in up to half of cases. Their approach combined economic theory and statistical analysis with an analysis of fundamental constitutional principles.

Their article in the Modern Law Review has also been awarded the journal's Wedderburn Prize.