Part-time firefighters are set to receive pensions and sick pay for the first time, following a landmark legal victory.
The House of Lords ruling will allow 18,000 retained firefighters – who are on call for up to 168 hours a week – to join the brigade’s pension scheme.
Twelve retained firefighters originally brought the case – but the outcome will affect all retained workers in the service.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) leaders said it was a “momentous decision” which followed a five-year legal battle.
It could also pave the way to improved rights for hundreds of thousands of part-time workers in other industries.
The union had argued that retained firefighters should be entitled to the same pension and sick pay rights as full-time firefighters.
The government and local authorities that contested the case now face six-figure legal costs.