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Dr Adams' research was instrumental in the overturning of employment tribunal fees by the Supreme Court

Abi adams

Dr Abi Adams (Associate Professor in Economics) has been awarded the Outstanding Impact in Public Policy at the 2018 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize awards ceremony on 20th June.

Dr Adams, together with Dr. Jeremias Prassl (Faculty of Law) had explored whether employment tribunal fees could constitute a barrier to justice in UK and EU law. They found that in 35-50% of employment tribunal court cases  claimants could lose money even if they won their case - so regardless of whether claimants could afford it, the disincentive to bring a case meant that access to justice was being denied. The team then collaborated directly with the senior barristers on the case put before the Supreme Court to overturn employment tribunal fees altogether,  which was won in July 2017.

Since this court case, Dr Adams has collaborated with the UN's International Labour Organization on using the model to evaluate the impact of similar reforms worldwide, starting in Brazil.

For more details of this exceptional impact from research, you can read more on the ESRC website, or click on the video below:


Dr. Adam's success follows on from previous Oxford successes in 2017 (Prize-winners Prof. Lucie Cluver, DPSI and Madeleine Sumption, Migration Observatory) and 2016 (Dr. Rachel Condry, joint runner-up) and demonstrates the continuing excellence in impact across a variety of disciplines in the Division.

Congratulations Dr. Adams!