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Article

Legislative Reform in Post-Conflict Settings

A Practitioner’s View

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2019
Keywords post-conflict, rule of law, law reform, legislative reform
Authors Nathalia Berkowitz
AbstractAuthor's information

    Following conflict, considerable effort is often dedicated to legislative reform. This effort includes not only domestic actors but also international actors frequently acting with the aim of establishing the rule of law. This article seeks, first, to provide some context for legislative reform in post-conflict settings and outline some of the criticisms that have been made. Drawing on the work of legislative experts, the article then identifies some of the simple questions that those involved in legislative reform ask and discusses some of the key challenges in answering them. The article suggests that establishing the rule of law is more than putting laws ‘on the books’ and that the way in which legislation is created may itself contribute to developing the rule of law. It suggests that as the rule-of-law community develops new approaches, it might find it useful to draw on the approach of legislative experts and their concern with how effective legislation is created.


Nathalia Berkowitz
Nathalia Berkowitz is a former Barrister and legislative drafter working as an independent consultant focusing on rule of law reform. Nathalia has over 10 years’ experience supporting legislative reform and judicial process in countries around the world. She is a UK [Government] deployable civilian expert and faculty member of the University of Salamanca’s Global and International Studies Program. She can be contacted at nathaliapendo@gmail.com.

    The Czech Supreme Court has ruled that the concept of good moral conduct must be taken into account when assessing whether an employee has breached his or her non-compete obligation and thus whether it is fair to demand that the employee pay a contractual penalty for the breach. The Court annulled the penalty.


Anna Diblíková
Anna Diblíková is an attorney at Noerr in Prague, www.noerr.com.

    A ‘false’ works agreement, which reduces the standard weekly working hours for permanent staff, also applies to leased employees. However, the pay of leased employees remains governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreement, rather than by the ‘false’ works agreement. Therefore, leased (part-time) employees benefitted from the reduced working hours by the ‘false’ works agreement, but received full pay based on the collective bargaining agreement.


Sarah Lurf
Sarah Lurf is an associate with Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH in Vienna, sms.law.

    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 Danish Supreme Court has held there was no discrimination against four part-time teachers at a university in that they did not receive pension contributions. Their positions could not be compared to those of full-time teachers, who were entitled to pension contributions. However, it did constitute a violation of the Danish rules on fixed-term work that the teachers had, for a number of years, been employed on several fixed-term contracts, as they had, in effect, been continuously employed in the same position. Consequently, the teachers were awarded compensation.


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

    Following the ECJ’s decision in Somoza Hermo – v – Ilunion Seguridad, C-60/17 (Somoza Hermo) of 11 July 2018, all eyes were on the Spanish Supreme Court. Since 2016, the Court has ruled a number of times that limitations to the liability of the new contractor established in a collective bargaining agreement (‘CBA’) in the context of a CBA-led transfer were valid (see e.g. EELC 2018/21). Somoza Hermo established that a CBA-led transfer that entails a non-asset-based transfer is a transfer within the meaning of the Acquired Rights Directive. Now the Supreme Court (in a decision dated 27 September 2018 taken with one dissenting opinion) is clear that its doctrine must be reviewed and has therefore held that limitations on pre-transfer liability for a new contractor under a CBA-led transfer that trigger a non-asset-based transfer, are not valid.


Luis Aguilar
Luis Aguilar is an attorney-at-law at Eversheds Sutherland in Madrid, Spain and associate professor of Employment Law at IE University in Madrid, Spain.

    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.

    The Finnish Supreme Court has held that an employer discriminated against an employee by not renewing his employment at the end of a fixed-term contract because he was overweight.


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

    For workers without a fixed workplace, travelling time between their place of residence and the first customer and travelling time between the last customer and the place of residence constitutes working time.


Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky
Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky is Of Counsel at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels www.vow.be, Assistant at Leuven University and Invited Professor at Université Catholique de Louvain.

    The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an expectation that a disabled employee would work long hours was a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ in a disability discrimination claim regarding reasonable adjustments. It also held that, on the facts, the employer’s conduct had caused the employee to resign and this entitled him to claim constructive unfair dismissal.


Tom McEvoy
Tom McEvoy is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    In a recent decision, the Labour Court awarded an employee € 7,500 for working in excess of 48 hours a week, contrary to working time legislation. The complainant allegedly regularly checked and responded to emails outside of business hours, occasionally after midnight. The Labour Court reiterated it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are not permitted to work beyond the statutory maximum period and that if an employer is aware that an employee is working excessive hours, must take steps to curtail this.


Lucy O’Neill
Lucy O’Neill is an attorney-at-law at Mason Hayes & Curran in Dublin, Ireland.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled both non-guaranteed and voluntary overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.


Soren Kristophersen
Soren Kristophersen is a Legal Assistant at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    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.

    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 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.

    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.

    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.
Case Reports

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

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2018
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

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

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2018
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
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