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    The Spanish Supreme Court has again ruled on the highly controversial question of whether limitations to the liability of a transferee established in a collective bargaining agreement (‘CBA’) in the context of a CBA-led transfer are valid, or whether they contravene the Spanish implementation of the Acquired Rights Directive.


Luis Aguilar
Luis Aguilar is an attorney-at-law at Eversheds Sutherland and an associate professor in Labour Law at IE University.
Case Reports

2018/9 Uber’s work status appeal rejected (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2018
Keywords Miscellaneous, Employment status
Authors Laetitia Cooke
AbstractAuthor's information

    Following an appeal by Uber against an employment tribunal (ET) finding last year, which was featured in EELC 2017/10, that its drivers are ‘workers’ and not self-employed contractors (reported in EELC 2017-1), the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has now upheld the ET’s original decision. The EAT rejected Uber’s arguments that it was merely a technology platform, as well as its statement that it did not provide transportation services. This decision is important as it means that Uber drivers are entitled to certain rights under UK law, such as the right to holiday pay, to the national minimum wage (NMW) and protection against detrimental treatment for ‘blowing the whistle’ against malpractice. Uber has approximately 40,000 drivers (and about 3.5 million users of its mobile phone application in London alone) and so this decision has potentially significant financial consequences for the company.


Laetitia Cooke
Laetitia Cooke is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.
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.

    The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a man seeking to establish that, if he died, his husband should be entitled to the same survivor’s pension as a female spouse would receive in the same circumstances. The Court unanimously held that an exemption in the Equality Act 2010 allowing employers to exclude same-sex partners from pension benefits accruing before December 2005, was incompatible with EU law and should be disapplied.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    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).

    It was direct sex discrimination for a male employee who wished to take shared parental leave (SPL) to be entitled only to the minimum statutory pay where a female employee would have been entitled to full salary during an equivalent period of maternity leave, according to a first-instance decision from the Employment Tribunal (ET).


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Case Reports

2017/31 Lawful positive discrimination in favour of women (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Discrimination (other), Positive discrimination
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    Company agreement provisions granting a half-day of leave to female employees on International Women’s Day constitute lawful positive discrimination in favour of women.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris (www.allenovery.com).

    On 6 December 2016, the Danish Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited judgment on the case of Ajos, addressing the issue of whether a private employer was entitled to refuse to make a redundancy payment in reliance on the former section 2a(3) of the Danish Salaried Employees Act or whether the general principle against discrimination on grounds of age needed to take precedence. It concluded that the employer was entitled to refuse to pay.


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

2017/9 The influence of the threat of terrorism on the right to strike (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2017
Keywords Industrial action, Strike
Authors Ruben Houweling and Amber Zwanenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Dutch Cantonal judge prohibited a strike because the safety of passengers could not be guaranteed. At the hearing, which took place a few days after the Berlin Christmas market attacks, weight was given to the threat of terrorism. Nor is this the first time the threat of terrorism has been explicitly referred to by a Dutch court in a case concerning the right to strike.


Ruben Houweling
Ruben Houweling and Amber Zwanenburg are respectively a professor and a lecturer of Labour Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg
Case Reports

2016/57 No compensation for an invalid non-compete clause where no harm shown (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Non-compete, Damage compensation
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    An employee who could not prove any harm resulting from an invalid non-compete clause in his employment contract could not obtain damages.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami are a partner and associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami

    A decision issued by the Constitutional Court on 3 March 2016 upholds a High Court decision on whether evidence obtained through video surveillance at the work place without previously informing the employee or the works council of the recording infringes employees’ privacy. The existence of cameras in the workplace was only made known via a sticker on the shop window, but the Constitutional Court found that it provided sufficient information to employees. The Court found that, as there was a prior suspicion of theft by the employee, temporary recording of the cashier area was lawful and did not require prior consent. The judgment sets out the criteria to be used to determine a fair balance between the competing interests of employee privacy and the employer’s right to compliance.


Sonia Cortes
Sonia Cortes is a partner with Abdón Pedrajas & Molero in Barcelona, www.abdonpedrajas.com. Special thanks to Isabel Ruano and Carla Baussa for their help in preparing this case report.
Case Reports

2016/24 Claimant required to show the ‘reason why’ the underlying reason behind a practice was indirectly discriminatory (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Race discrimination, Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, Indirect discrimination, Underlying reason for PCP
Authors Anna Bond
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Court of Appeal (‘CoA’) has held that there was no indirect discrimination where the underlying reason behind a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (‘PCP’) operated by an employer was not discriminatory. The claim of indirect discrimination was brought by Mr Naeem, who is employed by the Prison Service as a full-time imam at HMP Bullingdon. Until 2002, the Prison Service employed only Christian chaplains full-time due to a lack of demand for chaplains of other faiths (who were employed on a sessional basis only). From 2002, it started to hire full-time Muslim as well as Christian chaplains due to an increase in the number of Muslim prisoners.
    The prison system’s pay scale rewards length of service and pay rises are linked to both performance and length of full-time service. Mr Naeem argued that this had a disproportionate negative effect on Muslims, as they could not have been employed for as long as Christians. The CoA rejected this claim, based on the fact that the underlying reason for the difference was the lack of demand for Muslim chaplains before 2002, and that this was not discriminatory.
    This case follows the 2015 CoA case of Essop v Home Office [2015] EWCA Civ 609, which was the first case to add in this extra layer to the indirect discrimination test. According to these cases, a claimant must now show not only that a particular practice particularly disadvantaged them, but also why this is the case. In both cases, appeals have been made to the Supreme Court and these are expected to be heard together later this year.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    A general prohibition against displaying religious, political and philosophical symbols constitutes indirect discrimination which fails to meet the proportionality requirement. In this case the court took account of the fact that it was possible for the employer to distinguish between back-office and front-office work (the claimant worked in a back office position) and also because of the absence of complaints by colleagues or clients and the absence of any attempt by the claimant to encourage other women to wear a headscarf.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is a lawyer with Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.Vow.be.

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently ruled on a Hungarian law suspending payment of civil servants’ pensions for the period during which they are employed in certain areas of the public sector. The ECtHR found this law to be discriminatory as it breaches Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) read in conjunction with Article 1, Protocol 1. Hungary, as the respondent State, is to pay pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and procedural costs and expenses to the applicant, Mr Gyula Fábián. The judgment was delivered on 15 December 2015 and, if not appealed to the Grand Chamber, will cease to be appealable on 15 March 2016.


Dr. Ildiko Ratkai
Dr. Ildiko Ratkai is a lawyer with Ratkai Law Firm, www.ratkai.com in Budapest.
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