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    In its decision rendered on 28 February 2019, the Luxembourg Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Luxembourg) examined under which circumstances on-call duty performed at the workplace qualifies as actual working time.
    The issue raised was whether the time spent at night by an employee (i.e. the presence of an employee at the workplace) performing the work of a live-in carer was to be considered as ‘actual working time’.
    The Court expressly referred to EU case law and decided that the concept of actual working time is defined by two criteria, namely (i) whether the employee during such a period must be at the employer’s disposal, and (ii) the interference with the employee’s freedom to choose their activities.
    In view of the working hours provided for in the employment contract and in the absence of evidence proving that the employee would not have been at the employer’s home during her working hours, the Court found that the employee stayed at the employer’s home at night and at the employer’s request. It was irrelevant in this respect whether it was for convenience or not. It was further established that the employee could not leave during the night and return to her home and go about her personal business, so that the hours she worked at night were to be considered as actual working time.
    Given that the employee’s objections regarding her salary were justified (as the conditions of her remuneration violated statutory provisions), the Court decided that the dismissal was unfair.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is the managing partner of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    On 22 May 2020, fifty-two members of the Hungarian parliament petitioned the Constitutional Court which was requested to establish the unconstitutionality of Section 6(4) of Government Decree no. 47/2020 (III. 18), its conflict with an international treaty and to annul it with retroactive effect to the date of its entry into force. According to Section 6(4) of the Decree “in a separate agreement, the employee and the employer may depart from the provisions of the Labour Code” (i.e. ‘absolute dispositivity’). The petition, among other things, alleged the violation of equal treatment and the right to rest and leisure. The Constitutional Court rejected the motion to establish the unconstitutionality of Section 6(4) and its annulment, since it was repealed on 18 June 2020. The Constitutional Court may, as a general rule, examine the unconstitutionality of the legislation in force, however it was no longer possible to examine the challenged piece of legislation in the framework of a posterior abstract norm control.


Kristof Toth
Kristof Toth is PhD student at the Karoli Gaspar University in Hungary.
Case Reports

Access_open 2021/13 Equal Treatment Authority’s decision does not bind the court (HU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Race, Nationality Discrimination, Discrimination General
Authors Zsofia Olah
AbstractAuthor's information

    This case involved an employee who claimed that her two consecutive employers breached the principle of equal treatment during their employment relationships in relation to her belonging to the Roma minority. The employee built her case on the decision of the Equal Treatment Authority, which declared that her employers discriminated against her. The Curia (the highest judicial authority in Hungary) found that the decision of another authority has no binding effect on a court according to Act III of 1952 on Civil Procedure and that in cases concerning equal treatment, the burden of proof lies on the defendant (employer) to prove that there is no link between the disadvantage suffered by the plaintiff (employee) and her protected characteristic. The Curia and regional courts also found that the employer fulfils this obligation if it successfully proves that it assessed the applicant’s qualifications, professional suitability and attitude towards work when it decided on the question of whom to employ.


Zsofia Olah
Zsofia Olah is a partner at OPL Law Firm.
Pending Cases

Case C-133/21, Fixed-term Work

VP, CX, RG, TR and Others – v – Elliniko Dimosio, reference lodged by the Efeteio Athinon (Greece) on 3 March 2021

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-term Work
Rulings

ECJ 3 June 2021, case C-326/19 (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca – MIUR e.a. (Chercheurs universitaires)), Fixed-Term Work

EB – v – Presidenza dei Consiglio dei Ministri, Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca – MIUR and Università degli Studi ‘Roma Tre’, Italian case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    It is allowed to limit both the duration and number of fixed-term contracts without an objective justification being necessary, provided that there is no abuse of the rules.

Rulings

ECJ 24 June 2021, case C-550/19 (Obras y Servicios Públicos en Acciona Agua), Fixed-Term Work, Transfer of Undertakings, Employment Terms

EV – v – Obras y Servicios Públicos SA and Acciona Agua SA, Spanish case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-term Work, Transfer of Undertakings, Employment Terms
Abstract

    Spanish ‘fijos de obra’ employment contracts could be in breach of the Framework Agreement on Fixed-Term Work. Following a transfer, only the rights and obligations arising from the last contract transfer, provided that this is not to the detriment of the employee. Both are for the referring court to verify.

Rulings

ECJ 3 June 2021, case C-942/19 (Servicio Aragonés de Salud), Fixed-Term Work

Servicio Aragonés de Salud – v – LB, Spanish case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    The ECJ has no jurisdiction, as the worker concerned has a fixed employment contract.

    In a recent case, the Danish Supreme Court addressed the question of what constitutes a comparable permanent employee in relation to discrimination against fixed-term employees. The Supreme Court ruled that even though the two groups of fixed-term and permanent singers at the Royal Opera Chorus of the Royal Danish Theatre performed almost the same tasks, their positions were not comparable as the singers’ qualifications and skills were different and, for this reason, the difference in terms and conditions was not discriminatory.


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

ECJ 3 June 2021, case C-726/19 (Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario), Fixed-Term Work

Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario – v – JN, Spanish case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    It is not allowed to unilaterally extend fixed-term contracts anticipating definitive selection procedures for permanent positions, without it being clear when the selection procedure is held. The economic crisis of 2008 cannot justify the absence of any anti-abusive measures.

Pending Cases

Case C-192/21, Fixed-term Work

Clemente – v – Comunidad de Castilla y León (Dirección General de la Función Pública), reference lodged by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Castilla y León (Spain) on 26 March 2021

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2021
Keywords Fixed-term Work
Rulings

ECJ 17 March 2021, Case C-652/19 (Consulmarketing), Fixed-Term Work, Collective Redundancies

KO – v – Consulmarketing SpA , Italian Case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work, Collective Redundancies
Abstract

    Italian regulations regarding collective redundancies found outside scope of Directive 98/59 and hence cannot be assessed against articles 20 and 30 of the Charter. Transitional scheme regarding conversion of fixed-term contracts into contracts for an indefinite term not found contrary to Clause 4 of the Framework Agreement on Fixed-Term Work (Directive 1999/70). Unfortunately, no English version of the judgment is available.

Rulings

ECJ 11 February 2021, Joined Cases C-407/19 and C-471/19 (Katoen Natie Bulk Terminals and General Services Antwerp), Other Forms of Free Movement

Katoen Natie Bulk Terminals NV and General Services Antwerp NV – v – Belgische Staat and Middlegate Europe NV – v – Ministerraad, Belgian cases

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Other Forms of Free Movement
Abstract

    Legislation which reserves dock work to recognised workers may be compatible with EU law if it is aimed at ensuring safety in port areas and preventing workplace accidents. However, the intervention of a joint administrative committee in the recognition of dockers is neither necessary nor appropriate for attaining the objective pursued.

Case Law

Access_open 2021/1 EELC’s review of the year 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2021
Authors Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Marianne Hrdlicka e.a.
Abstract

    Various of our academic board analysed employment law cases from last year. However, first, we start with some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Daiva Petrylaitė

Marianne Hrdlicka

Attila Kun

Luca Calcaterra

Francesca Maffei

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Niklas Bruun

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Andrej Poruban

Anthony Kerr

Filip Dorssemont
Pending Cases

Case C-715/20, Fixed-Term Work

KL – v – X, reference lodged by the Sąd Rejonowy dla Krakowa–Nowej Huty w Krakowie (Poland) on 18 December 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Rulings

ECJ 11 February 2021, Case C-760/18 (M.V. and Others (Contrats de travail à durée déterminée successifs dans le secteur public)), Fixed-Term Work

M.V. and Others – v – Organismos Topikis Aftodioikisis (OTA) ‘Dimos Agiou Nikolaou’, Greek case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2021
Keywords Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    The concept of “successive fixed-term contracts” in Clause 1 and 5(2) of the framework agreement on fixed-term work (annexed to Directive 1999/70/EC) also covers automatic extensions, even if they do not meet formal national requirements. The referring court must undertake, to the fullest extent possible, assess whether national law can be interpreted in conformity with the directive.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami is partner at 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.
Rulings

ECJ 8 October 2020, Case C-644/19 (Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” Sibiu and Others), Age Discrimination, Fixed-Term Work

FT – v – Universitatea « Lucian Blaga » Sibiu and Others, Romanian case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2020
Keywords Age Discrimination, Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    Difference in treatment of teaching staff not found to be age discriminatory, but may be in breach of the fixed-term work directive.

    This article focuses on the posting of workers in the aviation industry. The main problem is that it is not clear in which situations the Posting of Workers Directive should be applied to aircrew (i.e. cabin crew and pilots). The aviation sector is characterised by a very mobile workforce in which it is possible for employees to provide services from different countries in a very short timeframe. This makes it, to a certain extent, easier for employers to choose the applicable social legislation, which can lead to detrimental working conditions for their aircrew. This article looks into how the Posting of Workers Directive can prevent some air carriers from unilaterally determining the applicable social legislation and makes some suggestions to end unfair social competition in the sector. This article is based on a research report which the authors drafted in 2019 with funding from the European Commission (hereafter the ‘Report’)


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert (PhD) is senior associate at the Brussels law firm Van Olmen & Wynant.

Pieter Pecinovsky
Pieter Pecinovsky (PhD) is counsel at the Brussels law firm Van Olmen & Wynant.
Case Reports

2020/18 Prohibition of dismissal of pregnant employee (RO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Gender discrimination
Authors Andreea Suciu and Teodora Mănăilă
AbstractAuthor's information

    Analysing the national legal framework in relation to the protection of pregnant employees and employees who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, provisions which transposed the regulations of Directive 92/85/EEC and of the conclusions in case C-103/16, Jessica Porras Guisado – v – Bankia S.A. and Others, the Constitutional Court of Romania ascertained that the dismissal prohibition of a pregnant employee is strictly restricted to reasons that have a direct connection with the employee’s pregnancy status. As for other cases where the termination of the employment contract is the result of disciplinary misconduct, unexcused absence from work, non-observance of labour discipline, or termination of employment for economic reasons or collective redundancies, the employer must submit in writing well-reasoned grounds for dismissal.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Managing Partner and attorney-at-law at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.

Teodora Mănăilă
Teodora Mănăilă is Managing Partner and attorney-at-law at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.
Pending Cases

Case C-40/20, Fixed-term Work

AQ, BO, CP – v – Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca – MIUR, Università degli studi di Perugia, reference lodged by the Consiglio di Stato (Italy) on 27 January 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Fixed-term Work
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