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    On 12 October 2020, the Labour Court of Appeal of Ghent ruled that there was no indirect discrimination in the case of Mrs. Achbita, because a policy of neutrality does not disadvantage Muslim women who want to wear a headscarf more than any other worker. The Labour Court of Appeal was also of the opinion that the employer should not examine alternative job positions.


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

    In a summary proceeding, the Court of Rotterdam has held that it is not clear whether the Non-Seafarers Work Clause, prohibiting lashing work on board of container ships being carried out by the crew, does indeed contribute to better employment and/or working conditions of seafarers. As a result of which the Clause – at this time – cannot be held to be outside the scope of competition law and the claim for compliance with the provision has been rejected. In the media, unions have stated that they will continue to enforce compliance with the Non-Seafarers Work Clause. It remains to be seen whether a court in main proceedings will reach a similar verdict.


Erick Hagendoorn
Erick Hagendoorn is an attorney-at-law at HerikVerhulst N.V., Rotterdam.

    Within the context of a transfer of undertaking in an asset reliant group of companies, the court should not just focus on whether the assets have been transferred between the two separate group companies, but also on whether one group company had actual control over the operation of the other group company.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a partner at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam, professor at Erasmus School of Law and editor-in-chief of EELC.

Eva Poutsma
Eva Poutsma is an attorney-at-law at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam.

    Applying the ECJ’s Maschek judgment, the Zutphen subdistrict court has found that an employee was not entitled to an allowance in lieu of untaken paid annual leave at the end of the employment relationship, as she had already received special leave. Moreover, the obligation to inform the employee concerning the right to (exercise) paid annual leave did not rest upon the employer.


Lisa de Vries
Lisa de Vries is a student at Erasmus School of Law and Editorial Assistant of EELC.

Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is Labour Law teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Law and editor of EELC.

    The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has quashed a verdict of the Court of Appeal that held that a social plan provision stipulating the capping of a redundancy allowance in view of an entitlement to early retirement pension was invalid because of age discrimination. According to the Supreme Court, a more marginal justification test should have been applied to a social plan. The Court of Appeal, moreover, did not consider all the legitimate aims it specified and should also have taken additional social plan measures as well as pension measures from the past into account. By not doing so, it was not properly examined whether the social plan constituted age discrimination.


Albertine Veldman
Albertine Veldman is a lecturer in European and Dutch labour law at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

    The administrative law sector of the Overijssel Court has asked preliminary questions about the level of holiday pay during sickness, in situations where sick pay is lower than regular pay. This enables the ECJ to clarify its case law on holiday pay once more.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and member of the editorial board of EELC.

    The central question in this case was what was the objectively applicable law to an employment contract concluded between a Turkish airline and a Dutch co-pilot, in accordance with Article 8 Rome I. The ruling is particularly interesting for the relation between the habitual place of work and the exception clause and points to the elements that should be taken into account.


Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and member of the editorial board of EELC.

Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and member of the editorial board of EELC.

    Relying on the prohibition of age discrimination stemming from Directive 2000/78, the Brussels Labour Tribunal, in a judgment of 28 November 2019, ruled that an age limit of 25 for the recruitment of air traffic controllers constituted direct discrimination. Its decision was grounded on the fact that even if there are objective reasons related to air traffic safety which may justify setting an age limit for applicants, the employer must adduce concrete evidence based on scientific facts.


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

    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.

    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.
Case Reports

2019/20 How to interpret the Posting of Workers Directive in the cross-border road transport sector? Dutch Supreme Court asks the ECJ for guidance (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Private International Law, Posting of Workers and Expatriates, Applicable Law
Authors Zef Even and Amber Zwanenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this transnational road transport case, the Dutch Supreme Court had to elaborate on the ECJ Koelzsch and Schlecker cases and asks for guidance from the ECJ on the applicability and interpretation of the Posting of Workers Directive.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a lawyer with SteensmaEven, www.steensmaeven.com, and professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer and PhD Candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    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 transferee in this case attempted to replace the transferred employees’ salaries with lower in accordance with its collective agreement, compensating for the reduction by means of a ‘personal allowance’, which it then proceeded to reduce by a set percentage based on the age of the employees each time there was a wage increase. The court held that this ‘basket comparison’ method of harmonising the wages of old and new staff was at odds with Directive 2001/23, rejecting the transferee’s argument that the ‘ETO’ provision in that directive permits such an amendment of the terms of employment.


Shamy Sripal
Shamy Sripal works for the Department of Labour Law of Erasmus School of Law.
Case Reports

2018/27 Citizen’s rights after Brexit: no preliminary questions to the ECJ (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Free movement, Work and residence permit, Other forms of free movement
Authors Jan-Pieter Vos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Amsterdam Court of First Instance had contemplated asking certain preliminary questions to the ECJ about the EU rights of UK citizens residing outside the UK (see EELC 2018/18), but the Court of Appeal has now refused this, considering the underlying claims to be too vague.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a lecturer in labour law at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Case Reports

2018/18 Preliminary questions to ECJ about Brexit implications for UK citizens? (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Free movement, Work and residence permit, Other forms of free movement
Authors Jan-Pieter Vos
AbstractAuthor's information

    Recently, the Court of Amsterdam decided to ask preliminary questions to the ECJ about EU citizens’ rights of British nationals, anticipating Brexit. However, two weeks later, it allowed an appeal against this decision. It is therefore unclear if and when these questions will be asked.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a lecturer of Labour Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    The Labour Court of Brussels ordered an employer to pay a protection indemnity to an employee following termination on the basis of reorganisation during her pregnancy because (i) the employee benefited from a specific protection against dismissal and (ii) the employer failed to prove that the dismissal of the employee was based on reasons unrelated to the pregnancy.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney-at-law at Van Olmen & Wynant, Brussels.
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 highest administrative court in the Netherlands has delivered a razor-sharp ruling on the intra-community service provision set out in Articles 56 and 57 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). This concerns ‘new’ EU-nationals who are still under transitional measures with regard to access to the labour markets of ‘old’ EU Member States. The judgment was preceded by a request from the Chairman to a State Councillor Advocate General to deliver his opinion on various aspects of punitive administrative law practice in the Netherlands. Both the opinion and the judgment are a welcome clarification and addition (or even correction) on the practice.


Bart J. Maes
Bart J. Maes is a partner at Maes Staudt Advocaten N.V. in Eindhoven, the Netherlands (www.maes-staudt.nl).

    The Dutch Supreme Court decided that proceedings of a company against its managing director should be brought before the court in the country where the managing director is domiciled, in accordance with Article 20(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. This only applies if the managing director, in his capacity as director and manager, for a certain period of time, performed services for and under the direction of the company in return for remuneration, since in such a case it is presumed that he has an employment agreement as a worker.


Edith Franssen
Edith Franssen is an attorney at law at Loyens & Loeff and lecturer of Labour Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    In an international road transport case the Dutch Appellate Court held that working from a given place is not relevant when applying the Posted Workers Directive.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a lawyer with SteensmaEven, www.steensmaeven.com, and professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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