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    The Supreme Court has ruled that a baker’s refusal to provide a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage was not sexual orientation discrimination, nor discrimination on grounds of political belief. The Northern Ireland bakery was owned by Christians who had religious objections to gay marriage (they thought Christian doctrine holds that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman). Gay marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland, although it is in the rest of the United Kingdom. Gay couples can enter into a ‘civil partnership’ in Northern Ireland, which formalises the relationship and provides it with legal recognition in a similar way to marriage.


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

    According to the Belgian Supreme Court, a choice of Belgian law for an employment relationship extends to all provisions beyond the employment contract. If parties choose to apply Belgian law to their employment relationship, this choice may extend to all provisions of Belgian law which regulate the mutual rights and obligations of the parties. This includes legislation on well-being at work and, hence, the payment of a protection indemnity following dismissal after filing a claim for harassment.


Dr. Gautier Busschaert
Dr. Gautier Busschaert is an attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.vow.be.
Case Reports

2019/5 For how long may data of a job applicant be stored? (AT)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Privacy, Discrimination, General
Authors Sophie Mantler and Andreas Tinhofer
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.


Sophie Mantler
Sophie Mantler is a senior associate and

Andreas Tinhofer
Andreas Tinhofer is a partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte in Vienna (www.mosati.at).

    The Iasi Court of Appeal has held that a request for resignation completed and signed after various forms of pressure from the employee’s superiors does not represent a termination of an individual labour agreement on the initiative of the employee, but a constructive dismissal.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the managing partner at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm.

    The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place in a situation where no contract of transfer was concluded.


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

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has clarified the grounds on which bad faith can be alleged in a victimisation claim under the Equality Act 2010 (‘EqA’). The EAT held that although motive in alleging victimisation could be relevant, the primary question is whether the employee acted honestly in giving the evidence or information, or in making the allegation. The concept of ‘bad faith’ is thus different in victimisation claims than whistleblowing claims.


Soyoung Lee
Soyoung Lee is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Danish Western High Court recently ruled that the Danish Act on Employees’ Rights on Transfers of Undertakings did not apply to two municipalities’ repatriation of home care services after a private-sector service provider went bankrupt.


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

2019/10 Employee’s right of choice between transferor and transferee in the event of a business transfer (NO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Transfer of undertakings, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Authors Bernard Johann Mulder
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a result of a transfer of an undertaking an employee lost her pension scheme rights. The transferor was bound by the pension scheme covering the employee which had been agreed upon in a collective agreement. However, the transferee company gave notification that it did not want to be bound by the collective agreement and, thus, the pension scheme. The Norwegian Supreme Court (Høyesterett) considered this loss a material negative change to the employment relationship. Therefore, the employee had the right to make use of the non-statutory exception rule of the right to insist upon continuation of the employment with the transferor, a non-statutory right of choice.


Bernard Johann Mulder
Bernard Johann Mulder is a professor at University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Private Law.

    On 8 November 2018 the Italian Constitutional Court prohibited the reform of the protection against unfair dismissal introduced by the so-called Jobs Act (Legislative Decree no. 23 of 4 March 2015), insofar as it imposed a requirement on the judge to quantify the compensation due for unfair dismissal based on an employee’s seniority only. According to the Court, such a requirement violated not just internal constitutional norms, but also Article 24 of the (Revised) European Social Charter of 1996. This contribution focuses particularly on the EU law questions deriving from such an important judgment.


Andrea Pilati
Andrea Pilati is an Associate Professor of Labour Law at the University of Verona, Italy.

    According to German law, every employee is entitled to paid annual leave. The amount of pay is generally calculated based on the current salary (known as the “principle of loss of pay”) but a reduction of working hours during the year does not lead to a reduction of entitlement to holiday pay for previously acquired holiday entitlements. If the entitlement was already acquired before the reduction of working time (which can happen because in Germany holiday entitlement is acquired at the beginning of the calendar year), pay during leave will be based on the salary agreed between the employer and employee when the holiday entitlement was acquired and thus, based on the ‘old’ salary.


Nina Stephan
Nina-Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Essen, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is an attorney-at-law and partner with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Essen, www.luther-lawfirm.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.
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