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Law Review

Access_open 2018/1 EELC’s review of the year 2017

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2018
Authors Ruben Houweling, Catherine Barnard, Zef Even e.a.
Abstract

    This is the first time we have produced a review of employment law cases from the previous year, based on analysis by various of our academic board members. But before looking at their findings, we would first like to make some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Catherine Barnard

Zef Even

Amber Zwanenburg

Daiva Petrylaitė

Petr Hůrka

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Erika Kovács

Jan-Pieter Vos

Andrej Poruban

Luca Ratti

Niklas Bruun

Francesca Maffei

    An acquired mother tongue is – at least indirectly – connected to a person’s origin and therefore also linked to ethnic origin. Claims based on the German General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, the ‘AGG’) must be brought in writing within two months after knowledge of a possible discrimination. Time only starts to run for claims after the employer has provided an unsuccessful job applicant with a clear and definite statement that he or she has been rejected. The limitation period under the AGG will not be triggered by lapse of time only.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is an attorney at law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Jana Voigt
Jana Voigt is an attorney at law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 19 October 2017, case C-531/15 (Otero Ramos), General discrimination, Gender discrimination

Elda Otero Ramos – v – Servicio Galego de Saúde & Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social, Spanish case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2018
Keywords General discrimination, Gender discrimination
Abstract

    The provisions on the burden of proof regarding the equal treatment of men and women in employment matters in Directive 2006/54 also apply to claims by breastfeeding workers based on Directive 92/85 (safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding).

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has adopted a new approach to the burden of proof in discrimination cases. Up to now, the courts have held that the claimant must, in the first instance, prove sufficient facts from which (in the absence of any other explanation) an inference of discrimination can be drawn. Once the claimant has established these facts, the burden of proof shifts to the respondent to show that he or she did not breach the provisions of the Act. The EAT has now said that courts should consider all of the evidence (both the claimant’s and the respondent’s) when making its finding of facts, in order to determine whether or not a prima facie case of discrimination has been made out. It is then open to the respondent to demonstrate that there was no discrimination. This is an important development in how the burden of proof is dealt with in discrimination cases. It clarifies that it is not only the claimant’s evidence which will be scrutinised in determining whether the burden of proof has shifted, but also the respondent’s evidence (or lack thereof).


Hannah Price
Hannah Price is a Legal Director at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a man seeking to establish that, if he died, his husband should be entitled to the same survivor’s pension as a female spouse would receive in the same circumstances. The Court unanimously held that an exemption in the Equality Act 2010 allowing employers to exclude same-sex partners from pension benefits accruing before December 2005, was incompatible with EU law and should be disapplied.


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

    Between 2008 and 2016, around 7000 Asda employees working in retail stores (who were largely women) issued equal pay claims in the Manchester Employment Tribunal (‘ET’). The Claimants argued that retail store workers carry out work of ‘equal value’ to the predominantly male workforce working in the distribution centres, meaning they were appropriate comparators for the purposes of an equal pay claim. The ET upheld their claim, even though the stores and distribution centres were run by different departments and the rates of pay set by a different method. Asda appealed to the EAT, which dismissed all grounds of appeal and upheld the ET’s decision, allowing the UK’s largest private-sector group equal pay claim to proceed.


Katie Johnston
Katie Johnston is a Senior Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Article

Access_open The Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Assessing the European Court of Human Rights’ Consensus-Based Analysis in Recent Judgments Concerning Equal Marriage Rights

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 3 2017
Keywords same-sex marriage, gay marriage, European consensus, margin of appreciation, consensus-based analysis by the ECtHR
Authors Masuma Shahid
AbstractAuthor's information

    This contribution assesses the consensus-based analysis and reasoning of the European Court of Human Rights in recent judgments concerning equal marriage rights and compares it to the Court’s past jurisprudence on European consensus and the margin of appreciation awarded to Member States regarding the issue of equal marriage rights. The contribution aims to analyse whether there is a parallel to be seen between the rapid global trend of legalisation of same-sex marriage and the development or evolution of the case law of the ECtHR on the same topic. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the Court’s consensus-based analysis is problematic for several reasons and provides possible alternative approaches to the balancing of the Court between, on the one hand, protecting rights of minorities (in this case same-sex couples invoking equal marriage rights) under the European Convention on Human Rights and, on the other hand, maintaining its credibility, authority and legitimacy towards Member States that might disapprove of the evolving case law in the context of same-sex relationships. It also offers insights as to the future of European consensus in the context of equal marriage rights and ends with some concluding remarks.


Masuma Shahid
Lecturer, Department of International and European Union Law, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam.
Article

ODR4Refugees through a Smartphone App

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords refugees, ODR, mediation, smartphone, disputes
Authors Petros Zourdoumis
AbstractAuthor's information

    For the past two years we have been monitoring in Greece several refugee related disputes such as disputes between refugees, intercultural disputes, disputes between refugees and the local community and disputes between refugees and the camp administration. We have also noticed that almost all refugees had smartphones as they were easy to carry with them and allow them to stay connected with those left behind or been relocated. Therefore in order to offer dispute resolution services we had to address two main issues: mobility & speed. We thought that technology could fit perfectly in this context. So, we decided, to develop a smartphone application for refugees that could create the environment for ODR. The App will not only resolve disputes online but try to prevent disputes or their escalation. Some of its innovative features will be personalized texts, language selection, disputes menu, automatic appointment of mediator, case filing, video, audio and text communication. It will have a friendly interface and be very easy to use even for those who have limited knowledge of technology and its download and use will be free for all refugees. The process will be conducted online by specially trained mediators and will be informal & flexible.


Petros Zourdoumis
Petros Zourdoumis is Founder of ODReurope, General Director of ADR point, a Fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (USA) and project leader for ODR4Refugees (http://odr.info/petros-zourdoumis/).
Article

Equal Access to Information & Justice: A Report on the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Forum 2017

The Huge Potential of ODR, Greatly Underexplored (Paris, France, 12 and 13 June 2017)

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2017
Keywords ODR, equal access, justice online, information online, ICC
Authors Mirèze Philippe
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is a brief report on the two-day conference on ‘Equal Access to Information & Justice, Online Dispute Resolution’, organized by the ICC in Paris on 12-13 June. Over 160 lawyers, magistrates, academics, researchers, dispute resolution organizations and online dispute resolution providers, from over 30 countries and representing each continent debated about the use of technology for the resolution of all types of disputes. The 60 speakers explored the future of dispute resolution and the role of technology in all legal fields, from mediation in conflict zones, to commercial and civil disputes. The huge potentials greatly underexplored were discussed. It was noted that much remains to be done to educate users and convince state courts, dispute resolution organizations, merchants and other services’ providers to offer access to justice online. Efforts must be undertaken to allow users seek remedy in an affordable way. The solution for an equal access to justice is to make such access available online. The issues of ethics and standards were also discussed, as well as the increase concern of data protection and cybersecurity. The recording of the discussions on the panels are available on the ICC Digital Library (ICCDRL).


Mirèze Philippe
Mirèze Philippe is a special counsel at the Secretariat of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She is the founding co-president of ArbitralWomen and member of the Board, member of the Steering Committee of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, member of the Board of Advisors of Arbitrator Intelligence, member of the Advisory Board of Association Arbitri, and fellow of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution.

Blanka Ujvári
PhD researcher at Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Budapest.
Article

Freedom of Religion at the Workplace

Background to the Ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Achbita and Bougnaoui Cases

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2017
Authors János Tamás Czigle
Author's information

János Tamás Czigle
PhD researcher at Pázmány Péter Catholic University Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Budapest.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel doceert politieke wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar onderzoek en recente publicaties spitsen zich toe op gender en politieke vertegenwoordiging, rechts populisme, intersectionaliteit in politieke partijen, en economische ongelijkheid. Haar onderzoek is vaak vergelijkend, met een geografische focus op West-Europa.

Eline Severs
Eline Severs doceert politieke wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar onderzoek concentreert zich voornamelijk op vraagstukken van democratische vertegenwoordiging, de betekenis van legitimiteit, en democratische inclusie. Recent redigeerde ze, samen met Suzanne Dovi (University of Arizona), een symposium over de ethiek van vertegenwoordigers in PS: Political Science and Politics (2018, forthcoming).
Case Reports

2017/30 Discrimination of workers’ representatives – burden of proof (LI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Discrimination of workers’ representatives
Authors Vida Petrylaite
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Lithuanian Supreme Court has found discrimination against an employee based on his trade union activities and ruled that there was no need for the burden of proof to shift to the employer.


Vida Petrylaite
Vida Petrylaite is a partner with CONFIDENCE Law Office, Vilnus (www.confidence.lt).

    It was direct sex discrimination for a male employee who wished to take shared parental leave (SPL) to be entitled only to the minimum statutory pay where a female employee would have been entitled to full salary during an equivalent period of maternity leave, according to a first-instance decision from the Employment Tribunal (ET).


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Case Reports

2017/27 Supreme Court clarifies indirect discrimination test (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords General discrimination, Indirect discrimination
Authors Soyoung Lee
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Supreme Court has given a clear explanation of how the test for indirect discrimination works, holding that it is not necessary to know why a particular group is disadvantaged by an employer’s policy in order to show indirect discrimination. This decision is not particularly helpful for employers as it makes it easier for individuals to make an indirect discrimination claim. However, the Supreme Court emphasised that it is always open to an employer to show that indirect discrimination is justified.


Soyoung Lee
Soyoung Lee is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP (www.lewissilkin.com).
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 13 July 2017, case C-354/16 (Kleinsteuber), Part-time work and sex discrimination

Ute Kleinsteuber – v – Mars GmbH, German case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Part-time work, Gender discrimination
Abstract

    Distinctions made for part-time workers in calculating occupational pension can be acceptable, as long as the calculations are based on legitimate objectives in accordance with law.

Case Reports

2017/31 Lawful positive discrimination in favour of women (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Positive discrimination
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    Company agreement provisions granting a half-day of leave to female employees on International Women’s Day constitute lawful positive discrimination in favour of women.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).
Article

Consultations, Citizen Narratives and Evidence-Based Regulation

The Strange Case of the Consultation on the Collaborative Economy

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords Better Regulation, consultations, evidence-based lawmaking, sharing economy, narratives
Authors Sofia Ranchordás
AbstractAuthor's information

    The 2015 Better Regulation Communication advocates an evidence-based approach to regulation, which includes better consultations and broader civic engagement. In this article, I consider the recent EU public consultation on the regulatory environment of online platforms and the collaborative economy. I enquire in this context whether citizens were seriously regarded as evidence providers and how their knowledge that materialized in individual narratives could contribute to more legitimate and thus better regulation. I argue that an evidence-based approach to regulation should also include citizen narratives as they can provide first-hand and diverse perspectives, which might not be considered in standard consultation questions. I contend that citizen narratives can be particularly useful in complex and rapidly evolving fields where there is still little empirical evidence and where participants are likely to have diverse personal experiences. Drawing on the literature on narratives, I contend that this method of collecting information can help regulators identify new problems and structure solutions in rapidly changing and diverse regulatory fields such as the collaborative economy.


Sofia Ranchordás
Sofia Ranchordás is an Assistant Professor of Administrative and Constitutional Law at Leiden Law School, the Netherlands, and Affiliated Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.
Article

Regulatory Review of European Commission Impact Assessments

What Kind for Which Better Regulation Scenario?

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1-2 2017
Keywords impact assessment, Better Regulation, non-judicial review, regulatory scrutiny, European Union
Authors Anne C.M. Meuwese
AbstractAuthor's information

    The article maps the various ways in which review of Commission impact assessments takes place by the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, the European Ombudsman, the European Court of Auditors, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, among others, and assesses the effect these review activities have on the framework and functioning of this primary Better Regulation tool.


Anne C.M. Meuwese
Tilburg Law School, The Netherlands, Professor of European and Comparative Public Law.

    A claim for compensation for discrimination was not excluded simply because the applicant did not have the ‘objective qualifications’ necessary for the job. According to the German General Equal Treatment Act (the ‘Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz’, or ‘AGG’), what is necessary for a compensation claim is a ‘comparable situation’. According to the latest decision of the German Federal Labour Court (the ‘Bundesarbeitsgericht’, or ‘BAG’) this can occur even if the applicant does not fulfill the general requirements to do the job.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner and Nina Stephan are respectively partner and associate with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft MbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Nina Stephan
Paul Schreiner and Nina Stephan are respectively partner and associate with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft MbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.
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