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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.

    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

Case C-103/16. Maternity

Jessica Porras Guisado – v – Bankia, S.A., Sección Sindical de Bankia de CCOO, Sección Sindical de Bankia de UGT, Sección Sindical de Bankia de ACCAM, Sección Sindical de Bankia de SATE, Sección Sindical de Bankia de CSICA, Fondo de Garantía Salarial (Fogasa), reference lodged by the Spanish Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña – Sala Social on 19 February 2016

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Maternity

    Article 60(1)(g) of the Romanian Labour Code does not allow an employer to dismiss trade union leaders for reasons other than disciplinary misconduct or judicial reorganisation, dissolution or bankruptcy of the employer. The Constitutional Court has recently ruled that Article 60(1)(g) is unconstitutional.


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

    The Supreme Court in this case establishes conditions to be met in order for the member of a Board of Directors to qualify as a self-employed “entrepreneur”. In light of these conditions, Directors must be considered to have the status of “individual contractor”, obligating them to pay increased social security contributions.


Marcin Wujczyk Ph.D.
Marcin Wujczyk, Ph.D., is a partner with Ksiazek & Bigaj in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.
Case Reports

2016/33 Supreme Court clarifies rules on redundancy selection methods (NO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Redundancy selection
Authors Tore Lerheim and Ole Kristian Olsby
AbstractAuthor's information

    The basic rule in Norwegian law is that an employer planning to reduce headcount must apply the rules for selecting those to be dismissed (based on seniority, qualifications, personal circumstances, etc.) to the entire workforce within the relevant legal entity. However, there are circumstances under which the employer may limit the pool of employees within which to apply those rules. In this case, the employer was justified in limiting that pool to one employee, thereby avoiding the need to make a selection.


Tore Lerheim
Tore Lerheim and Ole Kristian Olsby are partners with Homble Olsby advokatfirma in Oslo, www.Homble-olsby.no.

Ole Kristian Olsby
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