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Case Reports

2016/55 New Supreme Court decision on the distinction between independent contractors and employees (NO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Independent contractors, Employees
Authors Marianne Jenum Hotvedt and Anne-Beth Engan
AbstractAuthor's information

    EU employment protection is usually limited to “employees”, meaning that independent contractors are not covered. However, EU law often leaves it to Member States to determine the meaning of employee. The directives regulating transfers of undertakings, collective redundancies, written working conditions, information and consultation, part-time work, temporary agency workers etc. are all examples of protection covering only ‘employees’ as defined by each Member State.
    Consequently, the interpretation of ‘employee’ at the national level determines whether protection in EU law applies. This case report concerns the distinction between an independent contractor and employee. The question was whether a support worker for a child needing extra care and support should be considered as employed by Ålesund municipality. The majority (4-1) found that the support worker was an employee. The case illustrates how the notion of employee in Norwegian law adapts to new ways of organising work and may be of interest in other jurisdictions.


Marianne Jenum Hotvedt
Marianne Jenum Hotvedt is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Private law, University in Oslo. In 2015, she got her Ph.D. on the thesis ‘The Employer Concept’.

Anne-Beth Engan
Anne-Beth Engan is an associate with Advokatfirmaet Selmer DA in Oslo.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ (Grand Chamber) 18 October 2016, case C-135/15 (Nikiforidis), Applicable law

Republik Griechenland – v – Grigorios Nikiforidis

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Applicable-law
Abstract

    The Rome I Regulation only applies to contracts concluded before 17 December 2009 insofar as the contract has undergone major change afterwards. It precludes overriding mandatory provisions other than those of the forum court.

Case Reports

2016/52 Pregnancy and job offers (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Gender, Pregnancy, Dismissal
Authors Anton van Leeuwen
AbstractAuthor's information

    A discriminatory refusal to offer an employee a new employment contract upon expiry of a fixed term contract is not discriminatory dismissal but a discriminatory refusal to give access to employment. The employer is liable for emotional damages.


Anton van Leeuwen
Anton van Leeuwen is an attorney at SteensmaEven in Rotterdam.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 14 September 2016, case C-596/14 (De Diego Porras), Fixed-term work

Ana de Diego Porras – v – Ministerio de Defensa

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work
Abstract

    Fixed-term workers must be paid the same severance compensation as comparable permanent workers.

ECJ Court Watch

Case C-409/16. Sex discrimination

Ypourgos Esoterikon, Ypourgos Paideias kai Thriskevmaton – v – Maria-Eleni Kalliri, reference lodged by the Greek Symvoulio tis Epikrateias on 22 July 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Gender discrimination
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-306/16. Working time

António Fernando Maio Marques da Rosa – v – Varzim Sol – Turismo, Jogo e Animação, S, reference lodged by the Portuguese Tribunal da Relação do Porto on 30 May 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Working time

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld an appeal against the finding that a committed Christian teacher who refused to separate from her husband following his conviction for sexual offences would have been dismissed regardless of her faith and therefore such a dismissal was not indirectly discriminatory. The EAT found instead that the Claimant was presented with the choice of having to separate from her husband or be dismissed which subjected people who have a faith-based commitment to marriage to a particular disadvantage.


Laurence Mills
Laurence Mills is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    The Court of Appeal has given guidance on how to determine employment status in discrimination cases where the claimant is engaged on a case-by-case basis. The judgment confirms that the lack of mutual obligations between the putative employer and employee between assignments can be a relevant factor. If an individual is engaged on an assignment-by-assignment basis, with the freedom to turn down work when it is offered, this may imply a lack of subordination during the periods of work. The absence of an overarching ‘umbrella’ contract between assignments may therefore be relevant when determining whether an individual is protected by discrimination law.


Tom McEvoy
Tom McEvoy is a Trainee Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 14 September 2016, case C-16/15 (Pérez López), Fixed-term work

María Elena Pérez López – v – Servicio Madrileño de Salud (Comunidad de Madrid)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work
Abstract

    Successive fixed-term contracts cannot be justified by legal provisions allowing renewal in order to ensure the provision of certain services of a temporary, auxiliary or extraordinary nature when, in reality, there is no obligation to create additional permanent posts in order to bring an end to the structural use of fixed-term work to fill permanent posts.

ECJ Court Watch

Case C-414/16. Religious discrimination

Vera Egenberger – v – Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung e.V., reference lodged by the German Bundesarbeitsgericht on 27 July 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Discrimination, Religion
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-432/16. Maternity

Carolina Minayo Luque – v – Quitxalla Stars, S.L., and Fondo de Garantía Salarial, reference lodged by the Spanish Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña on 2 August 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Maternity leave
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-416/16. Transfers of undertakings

Luís Manuel Piscarreta Ricardo – v – Portimão Urbis, EM, SA – in liquidation, Município de Portimão, and EMARP – Empresa Municipal de Águas e Resíduos de Portimão, EM, SA, reference lodged by the Portuguese Tribunal Judicial da Comarca de Faro on 27 July 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Transfer of Undertaking
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 21 September 2016, case C-614/15 (Popescu), Fixed-term employment

Rodica Popescu – v – Directia Sanitar Veterinara si pentru Siguranta Alimentelor Gorj

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work
Abstract

    The fact that veterinary health inspections are non-permanent in nature does not justify successive fixed-term contracts unless the renewal of those contracts is in fact aimed at covering a specific need in the relevant sector, without the underlying reason being budgetary considerations.

    It is possible to make a claim for unlawful discrimination in respect of termination of an employment contract even if no claims has been made for unlawful termination.


Dr. Marcin Wujczyk
Dr. Marcin Wujczyk is attorney-at-law, Associated Professor at Jagiellonian University, specialising in labour law, partner at Ksizek Bigaj Wujczyk.
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 21 September 2016, case C-631/15 (Alvarez Santirso), Fixed-term employment

Carlos Alvarez Santirso – v – Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deporte del Principado de Asturias

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Fixed-term work
Abstract

    Spanish law which reserves participation in evaluation plans for teachers contravenes Directive 1999/70.

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
ECJ Court Watch

Case C-359/16. Social security

Ömer Altun, Abubekir Altun, Sedrettin Maksutogullari, Yunus Altun, Absa NV, M. Sedat BVBA, Alnur BVBA – v – Openbaar Ministerie, reference lodged by the Belgian Hof van Cassatie on 24 June 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Social security
Case Reports

2016/60 Special protection for disabled employees against termination of employment – international apsects (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Disabled employees, Invalid termination, International aspects
Authors Paul Schreiner and Nina Stephan
AbstractAuthor's information

    An employee may bring a claim for invalid termination before the German Labour courts, irrespective of the law governing the employment relationship. In Germany, it is only possible for an employer to dismiss a severely disabled person if the competent state authority grants a permit enabling it to do so. However, this requirement is limited to those with employment agreements under German Law.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Screiner and Nina Stephan are, respectively, a partner and an associate with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft mbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Nina Stephan

    Article 52(1)(a) of the Romanian Labour Code allows an employer to suspend, without pay, an employee under a disciplinary investigation. However, the Constitutional Court has recently ruled Article 52(1)(a) unconstitutional.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Head of Employment & Pensions with Noerr in Bucharest, www.noerr.com.
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