European Employment Law Cases

Case Reports

2016/21 The attitude/behaviour of an employer towards an employee who partially resumes work after long-term incapacity can constitute harassment and discrimination (BE)

Keywords Disability discrimination
Authors Isabel Plets en Karl Goethals
Author's information

Isabel Plets

Karl Goethals
Isabel Plets and Karl Goethals are lawyers with Lydian in Brussels, www.lydian.be.
  • Abstract

      The Belgian Labour Court decided in this case that the attitude/behaviour of an employer towards an employee constitutes harassment and discrimination, as the behaviour was such that the employee could have had the impression that he could lose his job because of his state of health. The employee resumed work after long-term incapacity owing to heart disease, but only on a part-time basis.
      The Court considered that the successive actions of the employer towards his employee were aimed at ending his employment rather than actively promoting reintegration. Such behaviour, on the facts, could be considered as harassment and discrimination.
      Moreover, the Court specified that the health of the employee, who had partially resumed work after being off sick for heart disease, could be regarded as a disability in accordance with EU Directive 2000/78. The Court explicitly referred to the ECJ HK Danmark case.

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