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European Employment Law Cases

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Aflevering 1, 2020 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen
Case Law

2020/1 EELC’s review of the year 2019

Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Peter Schöffmann e.a.
Samenvatting

    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

    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.

    Failure to reinstate an employee upon her return from parental leave in her initial position or a similar position with equivalent remuneration can constitute indirect gender discrimination.


Claire Toumieux

Susan Ekrami
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami are a partner and a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

    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

    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.
Case Reports

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

Trefwoorden Fixed-term work, Other forms of discrimination
Auteurs Christian K. Clasen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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)

Trefwoorden Fixed-term work
Auteurs Andreea Suciu en Teodora Manaila
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.
Case Reports

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

Trefwoorden Temporary agency work, Other forms of discrimination
Auteurs Vida Petrylaitė
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.
Case Reports

2020/9 Employment Tribunal finds that ‘workers’ transfer under TUPE (UK)

Trefwoorden Transfer of undertakings
Auteurs Colin Leckey
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a surprise decision, with potentially wide-ranging ramifications, an Employment Tribunal (ET) has found that ‘workers’ as well as traditional ‘employees’ are covered by the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).


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

    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
Article

Access_open 2020/12 The legal position of bicycle deliverers in Austria (AT)

Trefwoorden Employment status
Auteurs Thomas Dullinger
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

Noten


Thomas Dullinger
Univ.-Ass. Mag. Thomas Dullinger is associated with Institut für Arbeits- und Sozialrecht, Universität Wien.
Rulings

ECJ 27 February 2020, case C-298/18 (Grafe and Pohle), Transfer of Undertakings

Reiner Grafe and Jürgen Pohle – v – Südbrandenburger Nahverkehrs GmbH and OSL Bus GmbH, German case

Trefwoorden Transfer of undertakings
Samenvatting

    In the context of a takeover of an activity which requires substantial operating resources, not transferring the substantial operating resources cannot necessarily preclude the classification as a transfer of an undertaking, since other factual circumstances make it possible to establish that the identity of the economic entity has been retained.

Rulings

ECJ 26 March 2020, Case C-344/18 (ISS Facility Services), Transfer of undertakings, transfer, employment terms

ISS Facility Services NV – v – Sonia Govaerts and Atalian NV (formerly Euroclean NV), Belgian case

Trefwoorden Transfer of undertakings, Employment terms, Transfer
Samenvatting

    In case of a transfer of undertaking involving multiple transferees, the rights and obligations arising from an employment contract may be divided between various transferees, if this is possible. If not (or if it is to the detriment of the employee), the transferees would be regarded as being responsible for any consequent termination under Article 4 of Directive 2001/23, even if this were to be initiated by the worker.

Rulings

ECJ 5 December 2019, joined cases C-398/18 and C-428/18 (Bocero Torrico), Social Insurance

Antonio Bocero Torrico (C-398/18), Jörg Paul Konrad Fritz Bode (C-428/18) – v – Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social, Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social, Spanish cases

Trefwoorden Social Insurance
Samenvatting

Rulings

ECJ 4 December 2019, case C-413/18 P (H – v – Council), Miscellaneous

H – v – Council of the European Union, EU case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

Rulings

ECJ 18 December 2019, case C-447/18 (UB), Social insurance

UB – v – Generálny riaditeľ Sociálnej poisťovne Bratislava, Slovakian case

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Samenvatting

    Additional benefits paid to high-level sportspersons who have represented a Member State or its legal predecessors are not ‘old-age benefits’ within the meaning of Article 3(1)(d) of Regulation 883/2004, but Article 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011 preclude that they are made conditional of having the nationality of that Member State.

Rulings

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-16/18 (Dobersberger), Private international law, posting of workers

Michael Dobersberger – v – Magistrat der Stadt Wien, Austrian case

Trefwoorden Private international law, Posting of workers
Samenvatting

    On-board services on international trains do not fall under the scope of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers if most of the work is performed in one Member State.

Rulings

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-168/18 (Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG), Insolvency, pension

Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG – v – Günther Bauer, German case

Trefwoorden Insolvency, Pension
Samenvatting

    A reduction of old-age pensions under Directive 2008/94 is manifestly disproportionate if the former employee lives or would have to leave below Eurostat’s at-risk-of-poverty threshold, even if s/he receives at least half of the amounts of the benefits from his/her acquired rights.

Rulings

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-460/18 P (HK – v – Commission), Miscellaneous

HK – v – European Commission, Council of the European Union, EU case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    Denial of surviving spouse pension found legitimate, as living together cannot be considered equal to marriage or registered non-marital partnership.

Rulings

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-465/18 (Comune di Bernareggio), Miscellaneous

AV, BU – v – Comune di Bernareggio (intervener: CT), Italian case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    An unconditional right of pre-emption to pharmacists employed by the municipal pharmacy in a tendering procedure is contrary to the freedom of establishment.

Rulings

ECJ 22 January 2020, case C-177/18 (Baldonedo Martín), Fixed-term work, other forms of discrimination

Almudena Baldonedo Martín – v – Ayuntamiento de Madrid, Spanish case

Trefwoorden Fixed-term work, Other forms of discrimination
Samenvatting

    The absence of severance compensation for interim civil servants is not contrary to Directive 1999/70.

Rulings

ECJ 23 January 2020, case C-29/19 (Bundesagentur für Arbeit), Social insurance

ZP – v – Bundesagentur für Arbeit, German case

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Samenvatting

    German provisions disregarding salary obtained under another jurisdiction when calculating unemployment benefits found contrary to Regulation 883/2004.

Rulings

ECJ 22 January 2020, case C-32/19 (Pensionsversicherungsanstalt), Free movement

AT – v – Pensionsversicherungsanstalt, Austrian case

Trefwoorden Free movement
Samenvatting

    The requirements to obtain a right of residence by way of working for 12 months in the last 3 years also apply to persons who have reached the pensionable age during that period.

Rulings

ECJ 27 February 2020, joined cases C-773/18 – C-775/18 (Land Sachsen-Anhalt), Age Discrimination

TK, UL, VM – v – Land Sachsen-Anhalt, German case

Trefwoorden Age discrimination
Samenvatting

    General subsequent payment based on salary step not found discriminatory, provided that it protects existing acquired rights and if it does not prolong age discrimination. A summary will be provided once an English translation becomes available

Rulings

ECJ 26 February 2020, case C-427/18 P (EEAS), Miscellaneous

European External Action Service (EEAS) – v – Ruben Alba Aguilara and Others, EU case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    Reduction of allowance for living costs for EEAS staff – ECJ annuls judgment of General Court – case referred back to the General Court.

Rulings

ECJ 30 January 2020, case C-395/18 (Tim), Miscellaneous

Tim SpA — Direzione e coordinamento Vivendi SA – v – Consip SpA, Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze, Italian case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    It is possible to provide a contracting authority with the option or even an obligation to exclude a tender participant from the contract award procedure where the exclusion ground at issue is established by one of the subcontractors. However, this cannot happen automatically.

Rulings

ECJ 12 March 2020, case C-769/18) (Caisse d’assurance retraite and de la santé au travail d’Alsace-Moselle), Social insurance

Caisse d’assurance retraite et de la santé au travail d’Alsace-Moselle – v – SJ, Ministre chargé de la Sécurité sociale, French/German case

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Samenvatting

    The assistance for integration of mentally disabled children and young people, provided for in the German Social Code does not constitute a benefit within the meaning of Article 3 of Regulation 883/2004 and therefore falls outside its material scope. Morover, Article 5 precludes that the German provision at issue and the child-rearing allowance for a disabled child provided for in the French Social Security Code cannot be considered issues of an equivalent nature for the purpose of Article 5(a). The principle of equal treatment of facts enshrined in Article 5(b) applies, so that the French authorities must take into account similar facts occurring in Germany as though they had taken place on their own territory.

Rulings

ECJ 5 March 2020, case C-135/19 (Pensionsversicherungsanstalt Prestation pour la rééducation), Social insurance

Pensionsversicherungsanstalt – v – CW, Austrian case

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Samenvatting

    Austrian rehabilitation allowance qualifies as a sickness benefit within the meaning of Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation No 883/2004. Denial of that benefit found possible.

Rulings

ECtHR 5 November 2019, Application no. 11608/15 (Herbai), Freedom of expression

Csaba Herbai – v – Hungary

Trefwoorden Freedom of expression
Samenvatting

    The protection of an employee’s freedom of expression is not limited to comments in a debate on public matters only.

Rulings

ECJ 19 March 2020, joined cases C-103/18 and C-429/18 (Sánchez Ruiz and Fernández Álvarez and Others – v – Comunidad de Madrid), Fixed-term work

Domingo Sánchez Ruiz; Berta Fernández Álvarez and others – v – Comunidad de Madrid (Servicio Madrileño de Salud), Spanish case

Trefwoorden Fixed-term work
Samenvatting

    Clause 5 of the Framework Agreement on fixed-term work applies also to workers who continuously occupy interim posts based on successive fixed-term contracts in the absence of a recruitment procedure.

Rulings

ECtHR 30 January 2020, Applications nos. 29483/11 and 4 others (Cicero and Others), Other fundamental rights, fair trial

Rosaria Cicero and Others – v – Italy

Trefwoorden Other fundamental rights, Fair trial
Samenvatting

    Employees’ remuneration adversely affected by the application of new retrospective law found in breach of the peaceful enjoyment of possessions.

Pending Cases

Case C-726/19, Fixed-term work

Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario – v – JN, reference lodged by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Madrid (Spain) on 1 October 2019

Trefwoorden Fixed-term work
Pending Cases

Case C-784/19, Social insurance

TEAM POWER EUROPE’ EOOD – v – Direktor na Teritorialna direktsia na Natsionalna agentsia za prihodite – Varna, reference lodged by the Administrativen sad Varna (Bulgaria) on 22 October 2019

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Pending Cases

Case C-841/19, Gender discrimination

JL – v – Fondo de Garantía Salarial (Fogasa), reference lodged by the Juzgado de lo Social n.º 41 de Madrid (Spain) on 20 November 2019

Trefwoorden Gender discrimination
Pending Cases

Case C-799/19, Insolvency

NI, OJ, PK – v – Sociálna poisťovňa, reference lodged by the Okresný súd Košice I (Slovakia) on 30 October 2019

Trefwoorden Insolvency
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

Trefwoorden Part time work, Fixed-term work
Pending Cases

Case C-795/19, Disability discrimination

XX – v – Tartu Vangla, reference lodged by the Riigikohus (Estonia) on 29 October 2019

Trefwoorden Disability discrimination
Pending Cases

Case C-824/19, Disability discrimination

TC, UB – v – Komisia za zashtita ot diskriminatsia, VA, reference lodged by the Varhoven administrativen sad (Bulgaria) on 12 November 2019

Trefwoorden Disability discrimination
Pending Cases

Case C-866/19, Social insurance

SC – v – Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych I Oddział w Warszawie Wydział Realizacji Umów Międzynarodowych, reference lodged by the Sąd Najwyższy (Poland) on 27 November 2019

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Pending Cases

Case C-879/19, Social insurance

FORMAT Urządzenia i Montaże Przemysłowe – v – Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych I Oddział w Warszawie, reference lodged by the Sąd Najwyższy (Poland) on 2 December 2019

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Pending Cases

Case C-843/19, Social insurance, pension, gender discrimination

Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) – v – BT, reference lodged by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Cataluña (Spain) on 20 November 2019

Trefwoorden Social insurance, Pension, Gender discrimination
Pending Cases

Case C-877/19 P, Miscellaneous

FV – v – Council, appeal brought on 28 November 2019 against judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 19 September 2019 in Case T-153/17

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Pending Cases

Case C-875/19 P, Miscellaneous

FV – v – Council, appeal against judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 19 September 2019 in Case T-27/18 RENV

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Pending Cases

Case C-903/19, Miscellaneous

DQ – v – Ministre de la transition écologique et solidaire, Ministre de l’action et des comptes publics, reference lodged by the Conseil d’État (France) on 10 December 2019

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Pending Cases

Case C-940/19, Free movement

Les Chirurgiens-Dentistes de France, Confédération des Syndicats médicaux français, Fédération des Syndicats pharmaceutiques de France, Syndicat des Biologistes, Syndicat des Médecins libéraux, Union dentaire, Conseil national de l’Ordre des Chirurgiens-Dentistes, Conseil national de l’Ordre des Masseurs-Kinésithérapeutes, Conseil national de l’Ordre des Infirmiers – v – Ministre des Solidarités et de la Santé, Ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, Premier ministre, reference lodged by the Conseil d’État (France) on 30 December 2019

Trefwoorden Free movement

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