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European Employment Law Cases

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Issue 3, 2018 Expand all abstracts
Case Reports

2018/22 What is a collective agreement? Part two (DK)

Keywords Collective agreements
Authors Christian K. Clasen
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Danish Supreme Court has upheld the decision from the Danish Eastern High Court (reported in EELC 2017/26) on the implementation of the Working Time Directive to the effect that an ‘intervention act’ can be deemed to be a collective agreement within the meaning of Article 18 of the Working Time Directive.


Christian K. Clasen
Christian K. Clasen is a partner at Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen.
Case Reports

2018/23 Labour Court treats the consequences of cancer as a disability (BE)

Keywords Disability discrimination
Authors Gautier Busschaert
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Labour Court of Brussels treats the long-term effects of cancer as a disability in accordance with the case law of the ECJ. This has triggered an obligation on employers to consider making reasonable adjustments before looking at dismissal.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney-at-law at Van Olmen & Wynant, Brussels.
Case Reports

2018/24 Discrimination arising from a disability – no need for knowledge (UK)

Keywords Disability discrimination
Authors Emma Langhorn
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Court of Appeal has confirmed that discrimination arising from disability had occurred when an employer dismissed an employee for misconduct which was connected to the employee’s disability, even though the employer had no knowledge of the connection.


Emma Langhorn
Emma Langhorn is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    Two differently constituted Employment Appeal Tribunals (‘EATs’) have recently considered whether it is sex discrimination to pay men on parental leave less than women on maternity leave. In Capita, the EAT decided that it was not direct sex discrimination to fail to pay full salary to a father taking shared parental leave, in circumstances where a mother taking maternity leave during the same period would have received full pay. However in Hextall, the EAT has indicated that enhancing maternity pay but not pay for shared parental leave may give rise to an indirect sex discrimination claim by fathers.


Ludivine Gegaden
Ludivine Gegaden is a Trainee Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    In 2017, the ECJ delivered its judgment in the Socha case (C-149/16). This judgment, about the Collective Redundancy Directive (98/59/EC), highlights the contradictions between the Directive and Polish law and demonstrates some of consequences such a judgment can lead to.


Andrzej Marian Swiatkowski
Andrzej Marian Swiatkowski is a Professor of European Labor Law and Social Security, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland.
Case Reports

2018/27 Citizen’s rights after Brexit: no preliminary questions to the ECJ (NL)

Keywords Free movement, Work and residence permit, Other forms of free movement
Authors Jan-Pieter Vos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had contemplated asking certain preliminary questions to the ECJ about the EU rights of UK citizens residing outside the UK (see EELC 2018/18), but the Court of Appeal has now refused this, considering the underlying claims to be too vague.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a lecturer in labour law at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Case Reports

2018/28 The right to equal pay for temporary agency workers includes travel time allowances (NO)

Keywords Temporary agency work, Other forms of discrimination
Authors Kajsa Louise Tafjord Normannseth and Stein Evju
AbstractAuthor's information

    Directive 2008/104/EC (Temporary Agency Work Directive) is implemented by means of the Norwegian Working Environment Act and provides for equal pay between regular workers and temporary agency workers. The Supreme Court has held that, in domestic law, the concept of ‘pay’ includes allowances for travel time and therefore a temporary agency worker was entitled to the same allowance as his permanent colleagues.


Kajsa Louise Tafjord Normannseth
Kajsa Louise Tafjord Normannseth is an associate with Hjort DA in Oslo.

Stein Evju
Stein Evju is a professor emeritus at the Department of Private law, University of Oslo.

    In the aftermath of the ECJ’s ruling in the Asklepios case (C-680/15), the German Federal Employment Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, hereinafter: BAG) held a dynamic referral clause valid following a transfer.


Othmar K. Traber
Othmar K. Traber is a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The transferee in this case attempted to replace the transferred employees’ salaries with lower in accordance with its collective agreement, compensating for the reduction by means of a ‘personal allowance’, which it then proceeded to reduce by a set percentage based on the age of the employees each time there was a wage increase. The court held that this ‘basket comparison’ method of harmonising the wages of old and new staff was at odds with Directive 2001/23, rejecting the transferee’s argument that the ‘ETO’ provision in that directive permits such an amendment of the terms of employment.


Shamy Sripal
Shamy Sripal works for the Department of Labour Law of Erasmus School of Law.

    In its follow-up judgment to the ECJ’s preliminary ruling in the Hälvä case (C-175/16), the Finnish Supreme Court has held that ‘relief parents’ relieving foster parents in a child protection association on the latter’s holidays fall within the scope of the Finnish Working Hours Act even though the work was performed in the homes provided by the association for the children to live in. Therefore, the relief parents were entitled to the rights guaranteed by the Act (subject to the fact that some of their claims had expired).


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
Case Reports

2018/32 When is travelling time working time? (NO)

Keywords Working time
Authors Marianne Jenum Hotvedt and Anne-Beth Engan
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Norwegian Supreme Court concludes that time spent on a journey ordered by the employer, to and from a place other than the employee’s fixed or habitual place of work, should be considered working time within the meaning of the statutory provisions implementing the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC). This ruling takes into account the Advisory Opinion of the EFTA Court.


Marianne Jenum Hotvedt
Marianne Jenum Hotvedt is an associate professor at the Department of Private law, University in Oslo. She got her PhD on the thesis ‘The Employer Concept’.

Anne-Beth Engan
Anne-Beth Engan is a senior associate with the law firm Selmer AS in Oslo.

    The Oporto Court of Appeal held that the employee’s availability 24 hours per day, 6 days per week, breaches the employee’s right to rest. However, such breach does not qualify the availability periods as overtime. The Court also found that the continuous use of a GPS system breached the employee’s right to privacy.


Dora Joana
Dora Joana is a managing associate with SRS Advogados, Lisbon.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that it is at the discretion of the competent national court to assess whether periods of stand-by time are working time. In doing so, the court should apply Romanian law as interpreted in the light of ECJ case law.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the managing partner of Suciu I The Employment Law Firm.
Rulings

ECJ 21 June 2018, C-1/17 (Petronas Lubricants), Private international law

Petronas Lubricants Italy SpA – v – Livio Guida, Italian case

Abstract

    An employer may lodge a counterclaim at the forum chosen by the employee even if the counterclaim does not arise in relation to its own legal rights but is assigned to it after the employee has commenced proceedings.

Rulings

ECJ 28 June 2018, case C-2/17 (Crespo Rey), Social Insurance

Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) – v – Jesús Crespo Rey, Spanish Case

Keywords Social insurance
Abstract

Rulings

ECJ 28 June 2018, case C-57/17 (Checa Honrado), Insolvency

Eva Soraya Checa Honrado – v – Fondo de Garantía Salarial, Spanish case

Keywords Insolvency
Abstract

    An employee is entitled to protection against insolvency if s/he is entitled to severance pay on the basis that the employer has changed the workplace, so forcing the employee to choose between relocating and ending the employment relationship - but before paying the severance in full, the employer becomes insolvent.

Rulings

ECJ 11 July 2018, C-60/17 (Somoza Hermo), Transfer of undertakings

Ángel Somoza Hermo, Ilunión Seguridad SA – v – Esabe Vigilancia SA, Fondo de Garantía Salarial (Fogasa), Spanish case

Abstract

    CBA-led transfer may constitute transfer of undertaking.

Rulings

ECJ 11 July 2018, case C-356/15 (EC – v – Belgium), Social insurance

European Commission – v – Kingdom of Belgium, Belgian case

Keywords Social insurance
Abstract

Rulings

ECJ 25 July 2018, case C-679/16 (A), Social Insurance

A (Intervener: Espoon kaupungin sosiaali- ja terveyslautakunnan yksilöasioiden jaosto), Finnish case

Keywords Social Insurance
Abstract

Rulings

ECJ 7 August 2018, case C-123/17 (Yön), Free movement

Nefiye Yön – v – Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart, German case

Keywords Free movement
Abstract

Rulings

ECJ 19 September 2018, case C-41/17 (González Castro), Gender discrimination, working time

Isabel González Castro – v – Mutua Umivale, ProsegurEspaña SL, Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS), Spanish case

Keywords Gender discrimination, Working time
Abstract

    Even if a breastfeeding worker only works for part of her shift at night, the rules on the health and safety of pregnant and breastfeeding workers and those having recently given birth set out in Directive 92/85 apply, meaning that an assessment of her individual situation is necessary. If the worker brings a claim before the court, once she has provided a prima facie case of discrimination, the burden of proof switches to the employer. In other words, reversal of the burden of proof is also applicable to Article 7 (night work) of Directive 92/85/EEC.

Rulings

ECJ 19 September 2018, case C-312/17 (Bedi), Collective agreements, disability discrimination

Surjit Singh Bedi – v – Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Prozessstandschaft für das Vereinigte Königreich von Großbritannien und Nordirland, German case

Keywords Gender discrimination, Working time
Abstract

    Bridging assistance paid to a worker who loses his or her job by reason of redundancy, but ceasing once the worker becomes eligible to receive retirement benefits, is discriminatory under Directive 2000/78 if this moment comes earlier for disabled than non-disabled workers.

Rulings

ECJ 20 September 2018, case C-466/17 (Motter), Fixed-term work, other forms of discrimination

Chiara Motter – v – Provincia autonoma di Trento, Italian case

Keywords Fixed-term work, Other forms of discrimination
Abstract

    A system, as exists in Italy, that only-partially counts service under fixed-term contracts for the purpose of classifying staff in grades, is compatible with the Framework Agreement on fixed-term work, as there was an objective justification.