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    By a majority of 4-3, the Supreme Court of Ireland has held that the Workplace Relations Commission’s power to adjudicate disputes between employers and employees was not unconstitutional. However, the majority of the Supreme Court did find that certain aspects of the Commission’s procedures were unconstitutional, namely the blanket ban on public hearings and the lack of capacity for taking evidence on oath. The Workplace Relations Act 2015 and the Workplace Relations Commission procedures have consequently been amended to address these issues. This case report is a follow-up on EELC 2020/34.


Laura Ryan
Laura Ryan is an Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran.
Case Reports

2021/32 Grand Chamber confirms no double punishment for illegal employment (SK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2021
Keywords Other Fundamental Rights
Authors Dušan Nitschneider and Danica Valentová
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Grand Chamber of the Slovakian Supreme Court has unanimously decided that employers cannot be penalised by two different agencies for one violation of employment law rules and that the ne bis in idem principle also applies to two administrative breaches of the law.


Dušan Nitschneider
Dušan Nitschneider is a partner at Nitschneider & Partners.

Danica Valentová
Danica Valentová is a senior associate at Nitschneider & Partners.
Pending Cases

Case C-301/21, Discrimination General, Age Discrimination

Curtea de Apel Alba Iulia and Others – v – YF and Others, reference lodged by the Curtea de Apel Oradea (Romania) on 11 May 2021

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2021
Keywords Discrimination General, Age Discrimination

    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.

    The Supreme Court (SC) has unanimously decided that drivers engaged by Uber are workers rather than independent contractors. It also decided that drivers are working when they are signed in to the Uber app and ready to work.


Colin Leckey
Colin Leckey is a partner at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    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.

    On 16 December 2020, the Supreme Court of Lithuania (Cassation Court) delivered a ruling in a case where an employee claimed that the employer, JSC ‘Lithuanian Railways’, did not apply the regulations of the company’s employer-level collective agreement and did not pay a special bonus – an anniversary benefit (i.e. a benefit paid to employees on reaching a certain age) – because the employee was not a member of the trade union which had signed the collective agreement. According to the employee, she was discriminated against because of her membership of another trade union, i.e membership of the ‘wrong’ trade union.
    The Supreme Court held that combatting discrimination under certain grounds falls within the competence and scope of EU law, but that discrimination on the grounds of trade union membership is not distinguished as a form of discrimination. Also, the Court ruled that in this case (contrary to what the employee claimed in her cassation appeal) Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is not applicable because it regulates the prohibition of discrimination on other (sex) grounds. Moreover, the Court found that there was no legal basis for relying on the relevant case law of the ECJ which provides clarification on other forms of discrimination, but not on discrimination based on trade union membership.


Vida Petrylaitė
Vida Petrylaitė is an associate professor at Vilnius university.
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-22/21, Other Forms of Free Movement

SRS and AA – v – Minister for Justice and Equality, reference lodged by the Supreme Court (Ireland) on 14 January 2021

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

    An adjudication officer of the Irish Workplace Relations Commission has ruled that an upper age limit for entrance to An Garda Síochána (the national police force) was discriminatory on the grounds of age.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Learny is a Senior Associate at Mason, Hayes & Curran.
Rulings

ECJ 26 March 2020, joined cases C-542/18 RX-II and C-543/18 RX-II (Réexamen Simpson – v – Council), Miscellaneous

Erik Simpson – v – Council of the European Union (C-542/18 RX-II); HG – v – European Commission (C-543/18 RX-II), EU cases

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Miscellaneous
Abstract

    Internal EU staff cases. Earlier judgments implying that panel of judges had been irregular affect the unity and consistency of EU law.

    The Belgian Court of Cassation (Supreme Court), in a decision of 20 January 2020, has ruled that the prohibition for an employer to terminate the employment relationship of a worker for reasons related to a complaint for acts of violence and/or moral and/or sexual harassment at work does not, however, preclude the dismissal from being justified by motives inferred from the facts set out in the complaint.


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

    The Federal Labour Court of Germany (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) had to decide on a case in which an employee argued that his contract was not terminated by a provision that restricted the mutual duties to a certain time period for the yearly season within his contract and that the employer had to employ him during the off season. However, his lawsuit was unsuccessful as the Court found that, even though he did have an indefinite contract, the employer was not obliged to employ and pay him during the off season due to the valid provision of fixed-term employment for the time from April to October during the time of the season.


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

2020/34 Challenge to validity of Workplace Relations Act 2015 unsuccessful (IR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Unfair Dismissal, Fair Trial, Miscellaneous
Authors Orla O’Leary
AbstractAuthor's information

    A recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Irish Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has failed. The applicant in the case at hand argued that the WRC was unconstitutional for two reasons: (a) that the WRC carries out the administration of justice in breach of the general constitutional rule that only the courts may administer justice; and (b) several of the statutory procedures of the WRC were so deficient that they failed to vindicate the applicant’s personal constitutional rights. The High Court of Ireland dismissed both arguments.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a Senior Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran.
Pending Cases

Case C-236/20, Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work, Paid Leave, Other Forms of Discrimination

PG – v – Ministero della Giustizia, CSM — Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, reference lodged by the Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale per la Emilia Romagna (Italy) on 4 June 2020

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Fixed-Term Work, Part Time Work, Paid Leave, Other Forms of Discrimination

    Are the outcomes of the CJEU judgments on religious discrimination essentially different from the outcome of similar cases dealing with restrictions on the freedom of religion ruled by the ECtHR?


Filip Dorssemont
Filip Dorssemont is a Professor of Labour Law at Université catholique de Louvain and Guest Professor at Free University of Brussels.
Rulings

ECJ 16 July 2020, Case C-658/18 (Governo della Repubblica italiana (Statut des juges de paix italiens)), Employment Status, Paid Leave, Fixed-Term Work

UX – v – Governo della Repubblica italiana, Italian case

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Employment Status, Paid Leave, Fixed-Term Work
Abstract

    Magistrates who perform real and actual duties are entitled to paid leave and can be deemed to be fixed-term workers within the scope of Clause 2(1) of Directive 1999/70.

Pending Cases

Case C-834/19, Part time work, fixed-term work

AV – v – Minister for Justice and the Italian Republic, reference lodged by the Tribunale di Vicenza (Italy) on 15 November 2019

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Part time work, Fixed-term work
Case Law

2020/1 EELC’s review of the year 2019

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Authors Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Peter Schöffmann 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

Peter Schöffmann

Attila Kun

Francesca Maffei

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Niklas Bruun

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Anthony Kerr

Petr Hůrka

Michal Vrajík

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