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Landmark Rulings

ECJ 14 May 2019, case C-509/17 (Plessers), Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance payment

Christa Plessers – v – Prefaco NV, Belgische Staat, Belgian case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Transfer of undertakings, Dismissal/severance payment
Abstract

Case Reports

2019/21 Supreme Court rules on liability distribution between transferor and transferee (FI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Authors Janne Nurminen
AbstractAuthor's information

    A municipal federation took back a nursing home operation it had previously outsourced to a contractor. The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place and the municipal federation (transferee) was liable to pay the employee compensation for the unlawful termination of the employment contract. Further, the Supreme Court held that the employee had also without a justifiable reason directed the claim for compensation towards the employer company (transferor/the old contractor) and for that reason was liable to pay the legal costs of the employer company.


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

2019/9 The right to object against a transfer in case of incorrect information is not unlimited (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Transfer of undertaking, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Authors Nina Stephan
AbstractAuthor's information

    According to German law, every employee has the right to object to the transfer of their employment relationship to the transferee in the case of a transfer of business. However, the right to object is not unlimited. The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (‘BAG’)) held that an employee who had worked for the transferee for seven years had lost this right if they had been informed about the transfer.


Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft mbH

    A provision of Dutch law, according to which employees who lose their jobs upon retirement are excluded from the right to statutory severance compensation, is not in breach of the Framework Directive.


Peter C. Vas Nunes
Peter Vas Nunes is Of Counsel at BarentsKrans N.V., The Hague, the Netherlands.

    The Austrian Supreme Court has held that the employer must notify the Employment Service (AMS) when it is contemplating collective redundancies, even if they are carried by mutual agreement. The duty of notification is triggered if the employer proposes a mutual termination agreement to a relevant number of employees, provided the offer is binding and can be accepted by the employees within 30 days. If the employer fails to notify the AMS, any subsequent redundancies (or mutual terminations of employment occurring on the employer’s initiative) are void, even if effected after 30 days.


Andreas Tinhofer
Andreas Tinhofer is a partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

    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

2018/6 Dismissals anticipating a transfer of undertaking validated (HU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Dismissal/severance payment, Transfer of undertaking
Authors Gabriella Ormai
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Hungarian Supreme Court has held that within the context of the transfer of an undertaking, the transferee can terminate employment relationships immediately after the transfer for operational reasons and can commence preparations to that effect before the transfer.


Gabriella Ormai
Gabriella Ormai is a managing partner with Ormai és Társai CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP Ügyvédi Iroda in Budapest, https://cms.law/en/HUN/Office/Budapest.
Case Reports

2018/7 ‘Ryanair’ after ‘Ryanair’: Crew member still left empty-handed? (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Private international law, Competency, Applicable law
Authors Amber Zwanenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    A Dutch first instance court applies the recent ECJ Ryanair ruling (C-168/16 and C-169/16) in another Ryanair private international law dispute. Even though the Dutch court accepted jurisdiction, it applied Irish law to the employees’ unfair termination claim.


Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer in labour law at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam.

    Under the Latvian Labour Law an employee has the right to terminate an employment contract with immediate effect, i.e. without complying with the statutory notice period of one month, if the employee has ‘good cause’. Under the Labour Law, ‘good cause’ is any situation, which, based on considerations of morality and fairness, would not allow for the employment to continue. If an employee terminates their employment contract for good cause the employer must pay severance to the employee based on the employee’s years of service with the employer and amounting to between one and four months’ average earnings. If the employee gives notice for good cause, this terminates the employment contract with immediate effect.
    Even if the employer disagrees with the reasons given in the termination notice, the employer cannot terminate the employment contract on any other ground and does not have the right to challenge the validity of the notice in court. However, if the employer suffers loss as a result of the immediate termination; its reputation is damaged based on the reasons given in the notice; or it has faced some other adverse consequence; the employer can bring a claim arguing that what is stated in the notice is untrue.


Andis Burkevics
Andis Burkevics is a senior associate with the Latvian office of law firm SORAINEN (www.sorainen.com).
Case Reports

2017/1 Early retirement pension cannot justify age discrimination (AU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2017
Keywords Age discrimination
Authors Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Austrian Supreme Court has held that the selection of employees for redundancy because of their entitlement to an early retirement pension constitutes unfair dismissal on grounds of direct age discrimination. Although it was accepted that individual employers (here the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) can pursue a legitimate aim within the meaning of Article 6(1) of Directive 2000/78/EC, the means to achieve that aim were not considered appropriate and necessary. The Court stressed that a balance must be struck between the interests of older and younger employees, taking into account that it is generally easier for younger employees to find a new job. In the case at hand, however, the employer had not managed to show that its redundancy selection programme met that requirement.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer are respectively an associate and partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

Andreas Tinhofer
Peter C. Schöffmann and Andreas Tinhofer are respectively an associate and partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

    Article 52(1)(a) of the Romanian Labour Code allows an employer to suspend, without pay, an employee under a disciplinary investigation. However, the Constitutional Court has recently ruled Article 52(1)(a) unconstitutional.


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

ECJ (Grand Chamber) 19 April 2016, case C-441/14 (Ajos), age discrimination

Dansk Industri (DI), acting on behalf of Ajos A/S – v – Estate of Karsten Eigil Rasmussen, Danish case

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

    A court applying national law that is at odds with the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age must disapply that law, even if it is unequivocal and even where the dispute is between private parties.

    An ‘independent contractor’ working for a company in a subordinate relationship should be considered as a de facto employee. In such a situation, the company and its legal representatives can be held liable for ‘concealed work’ and be subject to criminal penalties.


Charles Mathieu
Charles Mathieu is a lawyer with Jeantet in Paris, www.jeantet.fr.

    An employer was ordered to reinstate an employee they had wrongly dismissed. The employer reinstated him, putting him back on the payroll, but simultaneously placed him on involuntary garden leave. The employee sought and got a second court order that this was not real reinstatement. The employer was ordered to allow the employee to return to the office and perform his habitual work there on pain of a penalty of € 100 for each day of non-compliance. The employer challenged this penalty, but without success.


Inga Klimašauskiené
Inga Klimašauskiené is a Senior Associate at GLIMSTEDT in Vilnius, http://www.glimstedt.lt.
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