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Journal European Employment Law Cases x Year 2019 x Category Case Reports x

    The European Commission recently conducted a public consultation on the measures that may be taken to ensure the full application of the principle of equal pay between women and men. Its evaluation report is expected before the end of this year. The new Swiss legislation on monitoring and disclosure of the gender pay gap may be inspiration for future EU initiatives in this area.


Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux
Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux is an attorney-at-law at Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva, Switzerland.

    The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia has ruled that provisions of the Law on Higher Education Institutions stipulating that professors and associate professors are elected to the office for a fixed period of time, i.e. for six years, and that only fixed-term employment contracts are to be concluded with them are not compatible with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia (Latvijas Republikas Satversme) (the ‘Constitution’), which among other things provides that everyone has the right to freely choose their employment and workplace according to their abilities and qualifications. The restriction of this right in this case cannot be regarded as proportionate since the legislator has failed to implement the requirements of the Fixed-term Work Directive 99/70/EC.


Andis Burkevics
Andis Burkevics is a counsel with SORAINEN.
Case Reports

2019/51 Stand-by time from home is paid working time (RO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2019
Keywords Working time
Authors Andreea Suciu and Gabriela Ion
AbstractAuthor's information

    Stand-by time from home represents working time of medical personnel even for the periods when no medical activity was actually performed (no attendance at the hospital was required), the salary rights for such period being determined as a percentage of the hourly rate for the basic salary and the number of hours when stand-by time from home was performed.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner of Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).

Gabriela Ion
Gabriela Ion is an associate with Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).
Case Reports

2019/47 Transfer of undertakings does not include temporary agency workers (AT)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2019
Keywords Transfer of undertakings, Transfer, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Authors Thomas B. Pfalz
AbstractAuthor's information

    In a series of rulings the Austrian Supreme Court has made it clear that temporary agency workers are transferred to the transferee only if they are assigned to the transferor on a permanent basis. According to the Court, the facts of the cases at hand are not comparable to those of the ECJ ruling in Albron Catering BV (C-242/09). Hence the temporary agency workers remain with their original employer. However, some aspects of the Court’s reasoning seem unclear if not contradictory with regard to other recent judgments.


Thomas B. Pfalz
Thomas B. Pfalz is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Law at the University of Klagenfurt.

    The Federal Labour Court had to decide on a case in which an employee asserted claims for damages against his public employer on account of an overtime regulation which infringed European law. However, because he had failed to comply with the time limits, his lawsuit was unsuccessful in the final instance.


Othmar K. Traber
Othmar K. Traber is a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The Supreme Court found that the Court of Appeal did not properly examine whether the difference of treatment of employees based on a social plan may be justified.


Ioana Cazacu
Ioana Cazacu is Managing Associate with POPOVICI NIŢU STOICA & ASOCIAŢII, Bucharest, Romania.
Case Reports

2019/43 Dismissal after childbirth-related leave (DK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2019
Keywords Gender discrimination
Authors Christian K. Clasen
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Danish Western High Court has ruled that the dismissal of an employee shortly after returning from childbirth-related leave did not constitute discrimination within the meaning of the Danish Act on Equal Treatment of Men and Women.


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

    The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has decided that the entitlement to paid annual leave only expires at the end of the calendar year or at the end of a carry-over period if the employer has previously put the employee in a position to take his leave and yet the employee has not taken the leave out of his own free will. The court held that the employer must cooperate in granting the leave. He has to encourage the employee to take his – concrete numbered - leave and inform him accurately and in good time, that the entitlement to paid leave would otherwise expire.


Daniel Zintl
Daniel Zintl is an attorney-at-law with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.
Case Reports

2019/46 Robbery attack: the responsibility of the employer? (SI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2019
Keywords Health and safety, Miscellaneous
Authors Petra Smolnikar and Romana Ulcar
AbstractAuthor's information

    A worker was performing regular work tasks at their workplace when an attempted robbery took place. The worker suffered serious facial injuries as a result of an assault by one of the robbers and they filed a lawsuit against their employer claiming the latter was fully liable (both objectively and subjectively) for the work accident entitling them to reimbursement of all damages resulting from the accident.
    The question that was raised was whether the employer can be held subjectively liable for an accident at work despite the fact that it had taken the necessary measures foreseen and/or imposed by law to prevent such accidents.


Petra Smolnikar
Petra Smolnikar is the founder and manager at the law firm PETRA SMOLNIKAR LAW, Ljubljana, Slovenia (http://petrasmolnikarlaw.eu).

Romana Ulcar
Romana Ulčar is a legal assistant at PETRA SMOLNIKAR LAW.

    The Court of Appeal (CA) has ruled that it was unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of a mistaken perception that she had a progressive condition which would make her unable to perform the full functions of the role in future.


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

    The Supreme Court found that the Court of Appeal did not properly examine whether the difference of treatment of employees based on a social plan may be justified.


Claire Huijts
Claire Huijts is an attorney-at-law at Pels Rijcken, The Hague, The Netherlands.

    Relying on the prohibition of age discrimination stemming from Directive 2000/78, the Labour Tribunal of Leuven refused to apply a Collective Labour Agreement establishing the minimum monthly salary for employees depending on their work experience even if not relevant and the Royal Decree enforcing it. The jurisdiction grounded its decision on the fact that this gave a strong advantage to older employees without objective justification.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney-at-law at Van Olmen & Wynant, Brussels, Belgium.

    The High Court (HC) dismissed an application by an employer for an interim injunction to prevent strike action organised by two trade unions, who were demanding parity of treatment for their members as compared to members of another union. It was more likely than not that the two unions would succeed in establishing, at the full trial of the matter, that the statutory protection under UK law for industrial action applied.


Kerry Salisbury
Kerry Salisbury is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Polish Supreme Court has held that a criterion of discrimination may also be a relationship of a social or familial nature that exists in the workplace and whose existence or absence on the part of the employee results in different treatment by the employer.


Marcin Wujczyk
Marcin Wujczyk is an attorney at law at Wardyński & Partners, Poland (https://www.wardynski.com.pl).

    This was a case alleging detrimental treatment for whistleblowing brought by an employee working outside the UK against two co-workers also working abroad in the same location. The Court of Appeal (CA) ruled that there was no jurisdiction for the Employment Tribunal (ET) to hear the claim in relation to personal liability of the co-workers because they were outside the scope of UK employment law. The CA’s judgment potentially has implications for other types of claim brought by UK employees posted abroad where similar personal liability provisions apply, such as discrimination and harassment.


Richard Lister
Richard Lister is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    A number of collective labour agreements unjustifiably have excluded allowances from holiday pay. Recently, social partners have had difficulties in repairing these flaws. Two recent cases demonstrate this, both similar claims but with different outcomes. This leaves social partners with the problem of how to proceed.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a lecturer of Labour Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands and editor of EELC.

    In two appeal cases considered jointly, the Court of Appeal (CA) has ruled that it is not direct or indirect sex discrimination, nor a breach of equal pay rights, to provide enhanced pay for maternity leave and statutory pay only for shared parental leave (SPL).


Richard Lister
Richard Lister is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The author discusses the recent ECJ judgments in the cases Egenberger and IR on religious discrimination.


Andrzej Marian Świątkowski
Andrzej Marian Świątkowski, is a Jean Monet Professor of European Labour Law and Social Security, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland and a member of the EELC Academic Board.
Case Reports

2019/34 Reduction of annual leave during parental leave is lawful (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Maternity and parental leave
Authors Nina Stephan and David Meyer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Higher Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG)) has held that the pro rata reduction of annual leave depending on the period of parental leave is lawful. In general, statutory holiday entitlement also exists for the period of parental leave. However, the employer has the right to reduce leave pro rata for each full month of parental leave according to Section 17 paragraph 1 sentence 1 of the Federal Parental Allowances and Parental Leave Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG)). The proportional reduction is in line with European law.


Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

David Meyer
David Meyer is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    The Latvian Supreme Court recently used the ECJ Max Planck and Kreuziger judgments to explain how an employer can escape its obligation to compensate an employee for unused leave at the end of the employment relationship. The employer must prove that (a) it was possible for the employee to use the leave, and (b) the employer has in good time informed the employee that leave, if not used, might be lost and will not be compensated.


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