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    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 decision pronounced by the first instance court related to the right of professional foster parents to request payment in lieu of untaken annual leave based on ECJ case law has been overruled by the Court of Appeal by making reference to a different ECJ ruling.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner and Gabriela Ion is an associate at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm (https://www.suciu-employmentlaw.ro).

Gabriela Ion

    Both the French Supreme Court and the Versailles Court of Appeal held that an employer, who must ensure that liberties and fundamental rights of each employee are respected in the working community, may lawfully prohibit the wearing of any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace, provided that the rule contained in the company rules and regulations applies without distinction to employees in direct contact with the customers of the company only. But in the absence of such rules, sanctioning an employee who refuses to remove her Islamic veil based on the wish of a customer, which does not qualify as a genuine and determining occupational requirement, amounts to an unlawful direct discrimination and should consequently be held null and void.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is partner and Thomas Robert is an attorney at Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, France.

Thomas Robert
Case Reports

2019/29 Eweida versus Achbita: a storm in a teacup? (EU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Religious discrimination
Authors Morwarid Hashemi LLM
AbstractAuthor's information

    Most scholars have argued that the Achbita judgment is not in line with the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, in particular with the Eweida judgment, and gives less protection to the employee than granted by the ECtHR. In this article, I provide a different perspective on the relation between both judgments and nuance the criticisms that followed the Achbita judgment.


Morwarid Hashemi LLM
Morwarid Hashemi LLM is a former student of Erasmus University Rotterdam

    The Italian Court of Cassation has interpreted a new provision referring to the obligations of the new service provider towards the employees of the former provider.


Caterina Rucci
Caterina Rucci is founding partner of Katariina’s Gild.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) has held that pre-employment as a freelancer must be taken into account in relation to the number of years having been with a firm as a freelancer when assessing the legality of a fixed-term contract due to the character of the specific deployment.


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

Daniel Hilmer
Daniel Hilmer is an intern at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The Higher Administrative Court of Münster (Oberverwaltungsgericht, the ‘OVG’) has held that a minimum body height of 163 cm for applicants to the police service, irrespective of gender, is lawful. At least, this shall apply if the determination of a minimum body height standard is a suitability criterion for access to the police service. Minimum standards solely serve the purpose of ensuring fitness for service and result from a comprehensive investigation. The investigation in this case established that suitability for the police service can only be guaranteed from a height of 163 cm upwards.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is a partner at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

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

    Austrian courts have to deal with an increasing number of cases concerning dismissal on grounds of (alleged) discrimination. The particular challenge is to a draw a conclusive distinction between the concepts of disability and sickness.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann is a teaching and research associate at the Institute for Austrian and European Labour Law and Social Security Law at Vienna University of Economics and Business, www.wu.ac.at/en/ars.

    A decision taken by an employer based on gender which respects the national legislation was considered discriminatory based on EU legislation.


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

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

    Following an appeal by Uber against the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) finding last year, which was featured in EELC 2018/9, that drivers engaged by Uber are ‘workers’ rather than independent contractors (reported in EELC 2018-1), the Court of Appeal (CA) has now upheld the EAT’s decision. The CA also upheld the finding of the Employment Tribunal (ET), which was featured in EELC 2017/10, that drivers are working when they are signed into the Uber app and ready to work (reported in EECL 2017-1). 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.


Jemma Thomas
Jemma Thomas is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    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.


Andis Burkevics
Andis Burkevics is a senior associate with the Latvian office of law firm SORAINEN, www.sorainen.com.

    According to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia (Vrhovno sodišče Republike Slovenije) (Supreme Court), reintegration of a formerly dismissed employee does not mean that the employment relationship had not been terminated earlier. Consequently, the employee is entitled to an allowance in lieu of the untaken leave at the time of the dismissal.


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

    According to the Labour Court of Mons, calculating the termination indemnity of a worker based on the reduced remuneration paid during a career break called ‘time-credit’ is compatible with EU law, despite the Meerts judgment regarding parental leave.


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

2019/21 Supreme Court rules on liability distribution between transferor and transferee (FI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Authors Janne Nurminen
AbstractAuthor's information

    A municipal federation took back a nursing home operation it had previously outsourced to a contractor. The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place and the municipal federation (transferee) was liable to pay the employee compensation for the unlawful termination of the employment contract. Further, the Supreme Court held that the employee had also without a justifiable reason directed the claim for compensation towards the employer company (transferor/the old contractor) and for that reason was liable to pay the legal costs of the employer company.


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

2019/13 A long-term functional impairment? (DK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Disability Discrimination
Authors Christian K. Clasen
AbstractAuthor's information

    An employee’s functional impairment, which at the time of dismissal had had a duration of 11 months and with an uncertain prognosis, was not deemed a long-term one. For that reason, the Danish Western High Court found that the employee was not disabled within the meaning of the Anti-Discrimination Act or Directive 2000/78 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.


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