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ECJ Court Watch

Case C-97/16. Self-employment

José María Pérez Retamero – v – TNT Express et al, reference lodged by the Spanish Juzgado de lo Social No 3 de Barcelona on 17 February 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Self-employment

    Article 60(1)(g) of the Romanian Labour Code does not allow an employer to dismiss trade union leaders for reasons other than disciplinary misconduct or judicial reorganisation, dissolution or bankruptcy of the employer. The Constitutional Court has recently ruled that Article 60(1)(g) is unconstitutional.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Head of Employment & Pensions with Noerr in Bucharest, www.noerr.com.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 21 January 2016, case C-515/14 (Cyprus), freedom of movement

European Commission – v – Republic of Cyprus

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Freedom of movement
Abstract

    Cypriot law on civil servants’ pensions violates EU law.

ECJ Court Watch

Case C-668/15. Racial discrimination

Jyske Finans A/S – v – Ligebehandelingsnaevnet, acting on behalf of Ismar Huskic, reference lodged by the Danish Vestre Landsret on 14 December 2015

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Racial discrimination
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-20/16. Free movement – Tax

Wolfram Bechtel, Marie-Laure Bechtel – v – Finanzamt Offenburg, reference lodged by the German Bundesfinanzhof on 15 January 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Free movement, Tax

    A decision issued by the Constitutional Court on 3 March 2016 upholds a High Court decision on whether evidence obtained through video surveillance at the work place without previously informing the employee or the works council of the recording infringes employees’ privacy. The existence of cameras in the workplace was only made known via a sticker on the shop window, but the Constitutional Court found that it provided sufficient information to employees. The Court found that, as there was a prior suspicion of theft by the employee, temporary recording of the cashier area was lawful and did not require prior consent. The judgment sets out the criteria to be used to determine a fair balance between the competing interests of employee privacy and the employer’s right to compliance.


Sonia Cortes
Sonia Cortes is a partner with Abdón Pedrajas & Molero in Barcelona, www.abdonpedrajas.com. Special thanks to Isabel Ruano and Carla Baussa for their help in preparing this case report.

    For the fourth time in seven years, an Austrian court has asked the ECJ for guidance on the subject of age discrimination in pay scales. In this latest case, the period required to progress from step 1 to step 2 on the pay scale was longer than the period needed to progress from step 2 to step 3 and beyond. Does that constitute age discrimination? The author argues that it does, and that the arguments advanced to justify it are not valid.


Dr. Marta J. Glowacka
Dr. Marta J. Glowacka, LL.M. is an assistant professor at the Institute for Austrian and European Labour Law and Social Security Law at Vienna University of Economics and Business, www.wu.ac.at.
ECJ Court Watch

EFTA Court 16 December 2015, case E-5/15 (M’bye), working time

Matja Kumba T M’bye and Others – v – Stiftelsen Fossumkollektivet, Norwegian case*

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Working time
Abstract

    An 84-hour working week imposed on resident therapists at a care home may in certain circumstances be compatible with Directive 2003/88.

    An employee challenged whether her employer’s refusal to provide childcare vouchers during maternity leave was discriminatory. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) determined, somewhat tentatively, that where childcare vouchers are provided through a salary sacrifice scheme, it is not discriminatory for employers to cease to provide childcare vouchers during maternity leave.


Catherine Hayes
Catherine Hayes is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    It was neither direct nor indirect discrimination when a municipality dismissed a childminder with a disabled child, since the decision to dismiss was based on the interests of safeguarding children in the municipality’s childminding services, by not taking them out of their usual environment and placing them with a childminder they did not know.


Mariann Norrbom
Mariann Norrbom is a partner of Norrbom Vinding in Copenhagen, www.norrbomvinding.com.
Case Reports

2016/24 Claimant required to show the ‘reason why’ the underlying reason behind a practice was indirectly discriminatory (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Race discrimination, Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, Indirect discrimination, Underlying reason for PCP
Authors Anna Bond
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Court of Appeal (‘CoA’) has held that there was no indirect discrimination where the underlying reason behind a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (‘PCP’) operated by an employer was not discriminatory. The claim of indirect discrimination was brought by Mr Naeem, who is employed by the Prison Service as a full-time imam at HMP Bullingdon. Until 2002, the Prison Service employed only Christian chaplains full-time due to a lack of demand for chaplains of other faiths (who were employed on a sessional basis only). From 2002, it started to hire full-time Muslim as well as Christian chaplains due to an increase in the number of Muslim prisoners.
    The prison system’s pay scale rewards length of service and pay rises are linked to both performance and length of full-time service. Mr Naeem argued that this had a disproportionate negative effect on Muslims, as they could not have been employed for as long as Christians. The CoA rejected this claim, based on the fact that the underlying reason for the difference was the lack of demand for Muslim chaplains before 2002, and that this was not discriminatory.
    This case follows the 2015 CoA case of Essop v Home Office [2015] EWCA Civ 609, which was the first case to add in this extra layer to the indirect discrimination test. According to these cases, a claimant must now show not only that a particular practice particularly disadvantaged them, but also why this is the case. In both cases, appeals have been made to the Supreme Court and these are expected to be heard together later this year.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-548/15. Age discrimination

J.J. de Lange – v – Staatssecretaris van Financiën, reference lodged by the Dutch Hoge Raad on 21 October 2015

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Age discrimination

    Following the latest case law of the Supreme Court of Lithuania, it is not enough to state that an employee cannot work for a competitor during their employment. It is necessary to pay compensation in order for the non-compete obligation to be legally enforceable, because of the onerous nature of the obligation.


Inga Klimašauskienė
Inga Klimašauskienė is an Associate Partner at GLIMSTEDT in Vilnius, www.glimstedt.lt.
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-631/15. Fixed-term work

Carlos Alvarez Santirso – v – Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Principado de Asturias, reference lodged by the Spanish Juzgado Contencioso-Administrativo de Oviedo on 27 November 2015

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 7 April 2016, case C-315/14 (Marchon Germany), commercial agency

Marchon Germany GmbH – v – Yvonne Karaszkiewicz, German case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Commercial agency
Abstract

    This case involves the right of a self-employed commercial agent, following termination of the contract with his principal, to an indemnity for having brought in new business. This right may not be interpreted restrictively.

ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 7 April 2016, case C-460/14 (Massar), legal insurance

Johannes E.A. Massar – v – DAS Nederlandse Rechtsbijstand Verzekeringsmaatschappij NV, Dutch case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Legal insurance
Abstract

    A legal expenses insurance policy must cover the cost of a lawyer of choice, even in administrative proceedings (judgment almost identical to that in Büyüktipi, also summarised in this edition of EELC).

    In businesses employing fewer than ten employees, the rules on unfair dismissal do not apply. However, those on discrimination do. This fact made it possible for the 63 year-old employee in this case to claim damages, effectively for unfair dismissal. She had been dismissed following a reduction in the available work. She was selected for redundancy because she was less qualified than her colleagues. However, her termination letter mentioned that she had become “eligible for retirement”. This remark created a presumption of age discrimination, which the employer was not able to rebut.


Paul Schreiner

Dagmar Hellenkemper
Paul Schreiner and Dagmar Hellenkemper are lawyers with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

    The Supreme Court in this case establishes conditions to be met in order for the member of a Board of Directors to qualify as a self-employed “entrepreneur”. In light of these conditions, Directors must be considered to have the status of “individual contractor”, obligating them to pay increased social security contributions.


Marcin Wujczyk Ph.D.
Marcin Wujczyk, Ph.D., is a partner with Ksiazek & Bigaj in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 7 April 2016, case C-5/15 (Büyüktipi), legal expenses insurance

Gökhan Büyüktipi – v – Achmea Schadeverzekeringen NV and Stichting Achmea Rechtsbijstand, Dutch case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Legal expenses insurance
Abstract

    A legal expenses insurance policy must cover the cost of a lawyer of choice, even in administrative proceedings (judgment largely identical to that in Massar, also summarised in this edition of EELC).

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