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    Many national decisions in Germany in the past had to deal with employers’ requirements regarding religious symbols in the workplace. Also, in 2017, the ECJ has dealt with two matters of such. Whilst the ECJ strictly refers to the principles of entrepreneurial freedom, the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) tends to give priority to religious freedom. Last year, the BAG appealed to the ECJ for final clarification, in particular regarding the relationship between the basic rights of entrepreneurs and the constitutional right to religious freedom, by way of a preliminary ruling procedure with its decision dated 30 January 2019.


Caroline Dressel
Caroline Dressel is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbh
Case Reports

2020/6 Supreme Court judgment on the concept of comparable permanent employees (DK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Fixed-term work, Other forms of discrimination
Authors Christian K. Clasen
AbstractAuthor's information

    In a recent case on fixed-term employment, the Danish Supreme Court addressed the question of what constitutes a comparable permanent employee. The Supreme Court ruled that four employees, who worked in a government agency, were not comparable with the agency’s permanent employees and for this reason they had not been discriminated against on the grounds of their fixed-term contracts.


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

2020/7 Successive fixed-term employment contracts (RO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Fixed-term work
Authors Andreea Suciu and Teodora Manaila
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Craiova Court of Appeal has ruled that the continuous extensions of a fixed-term employment based on national provisions is not in accordance with the European jurisprudence. Relying on the findings of ECJ case C-614/15, the Craiova Court of Appeal made an exhaustive analysis of the relying arguments for subsequent extensions of fixed-term employments agreements for long periods of time and the objective reasons behind such use of contracts.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is managing partner at Suciu I The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.

Teodora Manaila
Teodora Manaila is an attorney-at-law at Suciu I The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.

    On 3 October 2019, in case C-274/18 (Schuch-Ghannadan), the ECJ held that a national regulation, which provides for different maximum total durations of successive fixed-term employment contracts for part-time workers on the one hand and full-time workers on the other, could result in a discrimination of part-time workers and an indirect discrimination of women.


Ines Kager
Mag. Ines Kager is teaching and research assistant at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.

    While it is not strictly necessary to actually work in order to acquire leave entitlement under German law, the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that during a sabbatical (unpaid special leave) the employee does not gain any entitlement to paid annual leave.


Fabian Huber
Fabian Huber is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbh

    In a decision with implications for unfair dismissal law generally, the UK’s Supreme Court (SC) ruled that it is not always necessary for a dismissing manager to know about whistleblowing disclosures made by an employee in order for that dismissal to be automatically unfair.


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

    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.
Case Reports

2020/8 Right of temporary workers to the same pay for the same work (LT)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Temporary agency work, Other forms of discrimination
Authors Vida Petrylaitė
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 20 June 2019, Vilnius Regional Court in Lithuania (instance of appeal) delivered a decision in a case where the applicants claimed that a temporary employment agency, UAB Manpower Lit (the ‘Agency’), which recruited temporary workers (‘claimants’) for the European Institute for Gender Equality (‘EIGE’), paid them lower salaries than permanent staff. It was ruled that the Agency had discriminated against these workers by paying them lower salaries than they would have received if they had been recruited directly by EIGE. The Court also ordered the payment of pay arrears for a certain period to the temporary staff.


Vida Petrylaitė
Vida Petrylaitė is an associate professor at Vilnius University.

    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.

    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).
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