Unison, the GMB and the TGWU are suing the government on behalf of members in Camden, Doncaster, Torbay and Paisley,.
The unions welcomed a judge's decision in chambers last Friday, that two legal issues had to be established before any trial, rather than addressed in the particular circumstances of each case during the trial.
This represents a significant setback for the department of employment which had wanted both issues addressed in each individual case, the paper reports.
'It means we can get to the meat of the issue before addressing particular circumstances,' he said.
The two issues the judge said must be established prior to any trial on the specific cases are:
- Whether the British government was in breach of European directives and if so
- Was it the type of breach which, in principle, gives workers the right to bring claims for damages against the government.