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    By a majority of 4-3, the Supreme Court of Ireland has held that the Workplace Relations Commission’s power to adjudicate disputes between employers and employees was not unconstitutional. However, the majority of the Supreme Court did find that certain aspects of the Commission’s procedures were unconstitutional, namely the blanket ban on public hearings and the lack of capacity for taking evidence on oath. The Workplace Relations Act 2015 and the Workplace Relations Commission procedures have consequently been amended to address these issues. This case report is a follow-up on EELC 2020/34.


Laura Ryan
Laura Ryan is an Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran.

    The wording of a global exclusion clause in an employment contract also covered claims asserted on the grounds of intentional damage. However, such a clause was invalid in the case at hand because it resulted in a shortening of the statutory limitation periods. Both parties to the employment contract could not therefore refer to such a contractual exclusion clause. The consequence was that the statutory limitation periods applied. The employer can also invoke the invalidity of the exclusion clause, even if it drafted the clause itself. The judgment may also have important consequences for collective agreements.


Jana Voigt
Jana Voigt is senior associate at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Pia Schweers
Pia Schweers is associate at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft in Essen, Germany.
Case Reports

2021/32 Grand Chamber confirms no double punishment for illegal employment (SK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2021
Keywords Other Fundamental Rights
Authors Dušan Nitschneider and Danica Valentová
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Grand Chamber of the Slovakian Supreme Court has unanimously decided that employers cannot be penalised by two different agencies for one violation of employment law rules and that the ne bis in idem principle also applies to two administrative breaches of the law.


Dušan Nitschneider
Dušan Nitschneider is a partner at Nitschneider & Partners.

Danica Valentová
Danica Valentová is a senior associate at Nitschneider & Partners.

    The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court has held that not only employees working under an employment relationship but also state officials enjoy special protection against termination.


Kalina Tchakarova
Kalina Tchakarova is a partner at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov and Velichkov.

    Ryanair and Crewlink have finally been found in violation of Belgian mandatory provisions following the ruling of the ECJ in cases C-168/16 and C-169/16 (Nogueira and Others) and ordered to pay certain amounts to the employees involved by virtue of Belgian mandatory provisions. Yet, this trade union victory has a bitter taste for those employees, who were refused their main claim, i.e. to be paid normal remuneration for on-call time at the airport.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an Attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that ‘gender critical’ beliefs are protected philosophical beliefs for equality law purposes, while confirming that a belief in ‘gender identity’ is also a protected characteristic. This means that it is unlawful to discriminate against someone because they do or do not hold either of those beliefs.


Bethan Carney
Bethan Carney is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer, Lewis Silkin LLP.

    In its decision rendered on 29 September 2020, the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, ‘OGH’) ruled that periods of prior professional services completed with employers in the EU or the EEA other than the current employer must be taken into account for salary classifications to guarantee the freedom of movement of workers under Article 45 TFEU.


Stefan Zischka
Stefan Zischka is Partner at Jank Weiler Operenyi Attorneys at Law / Deloitte Legal Austria.

Christina Feistritzer
Christina Feistritzer is Associate at Jank Weiler Operenyi Attorneys at Law / Deloitte Legal Austria.

    The Craiova Court of Appeal has ruled that a trade union that organized an illegal strike was civilly liable for the entire prejudice caused to the employer due to the interruption of its business activity. The compensation will be calculated based on the damage incurred by the employer, regardless of whether the strike took place for only two hours, as in the case at hand, if the activity of the unit was disrupted for a longer period of time due to such strike action.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Managing Partner of Suciu | The Employment Law Firm.

Andreea Oprea
Andreea Oprea is an Associate at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm.

    The UK’s Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that retail staff of the supermarket chain Asda can compare themselves under UK law to higher-paid distribution depot staff for the purposes of an equal pay claim. In a separate case against Tesco, the ECJ subsequently confirmed that the company’s shop workers can rely directly on EU law to compare themselves to distribution centre workers for the purposes of such a claim.


Carolyn Soakell
Carolyn Soakell is a partner at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    Following up on the ECJ’s judgment in the Kalliri case, the Greek Council of State (Conseil d’État) held in a Plenary Session decision that a legal provision of Presidential Decree 90/2003 requiring that candidates for admission to the Greek Officers and Policemen School must be at least 1.70 m, independently of their sex, was indirectly discriminatory against female candidates. It based its decision on Directive 76/207/EEC as well as principles of the Greek constitution.


Effie Mitsopoulou
Effie Mitsopoulou is an attorney-at-law at Effie Mitsopoulou Law Office.

    In a decision of 16 June 2021 (6 AZR 390/20 (A)), the German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) referred a question to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling that has been a controversial issue in Germany for some time. The question is whether the possibility of a permanent supply of temporary workers, which is referred to as ‘personnel supply’ (Personalgestellung) in the context of the collective agreement for the public sector, and the exemption from the scope of the German Temporary Employment Act (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz, ‘AÜG’) pursuant to Section 1(3) No. 2b AÜG, which allows this provision in the collective agreement, violates the provisions of Directive 2008/104/EC on temporary agency work (the ‘Temporary Agency Work Directive’). Depending on the outcome of the ECJ’s decision, this could have a significant impact on staff leasing often practised in companies operating in the public sector.


Othmar K Traber
Othmar K. Traber is an attorney-at-law and a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB.
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