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European Employment Law Cases

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Aflevering 2, 2020 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen

    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.
Case Reports

2020/14 Sickness absence related to employee’s disability (DK)

Trefwoorden Disability Discrimination, Unfair Dismissal
Auteurs Christian K. Clasen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recently, the Danish Eastern High Court found that an employee’s sickness absence was a result of the employer’s failure to comply with its obligation to offer reasonable accommodation for the employee’s disability. For that reason the employee, who was dismissed in pursuance of the Danish ‘120-day rule’, was entitled to compensation for unfair dismissal under the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act.


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

2020/15 Discrimination against severely disabled persons by the calculation of social plan compensation (GE)

Trefwoorden Disability Discrimination, Age Discrimination
Auteurs Iness Gutt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Federal Labour Court of Germany (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) has decided that a social plan that distinguished between employees who were born in 1960 or later and employees who were born before 1960 for the calculation of severance payment did not constitute unjustified age discrimination. However, a regulation in a social plan which referred to the “earliest possible” entitlement to a statutory pension when calculating the severance payment constituted unjustified indirect discrimination against disabled persons.


Iness Gutt
Ines Gutt is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    In a recent Supreme Court decision, it was held by a 4-1 majority that there is no reason, in principle, why the provision of ‘reasonable accommodation’ for an employee with a disability should not involve the redistribution of duties.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is an attorney-at-law at Mason Hayes & Curran, Dublin.

    The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has quashed a verdict of the Court of Appeal that held that a social plan provision stipulating the capping of a redundancy allowance in view of an entitlement to early retirement pension was invalid because of age discrimination. According to the Supreme Court, a more marginal justification test should have been applied to a social plan. The Court of Appeal, moreover, did not consider all the legitimate aims it specified and should also have taken additional social plan measures as well as pension measures from the past into account. By not doing so, it was not properly examined whether the social plan constituted age discrimination.


Albertine Veldman
Albertine Veldman is a lecturer in European and Dutch labour law at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Case Reports

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

Trefwoorden Gender discrimination
Auteurs Andreea Suciu en Teodora Mănăilă
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.

    The notice of collective redundancies required to be given to an employment agency pursuant to Section 17(1) of the German Protection Against Unfair Dismissal Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz, ‘KSchG’) can only be effectively submitted if the employer has already decided to terminate the employment contract at the time of its receipt by the employment agency. Notices of termination in collective redundancy proceedings are therefore effective – subject to the fulfilment of any other notice requirements – if the proper notice is received by the competent employment agency before the employee has received the letter of termination.


Marcus Bertz
Marcus Bertz is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    The dismissal of an employee for gross misconduct was unfair because the investigating officer failed to share significant new information with the manager conducting the disciplinary hearing who decided to dismiss, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled.


Ludivine Gegaden
Ludivine Gegaden is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by one of the UK’s major supermarket chains, overturning a finding that it was vicariously liable for a rogue employee’s deliberate disclosure of payroll data related to some 100,000 co-workers, of whom 10,000 brought a group claim for damages.


Richard Lister
Richard Lister is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin LLP.
Case Reports

2020/22 Works council’s right to inspect remuneration lists (GE)

Trefwoorden Information and Consultation, Privacy
Auteurs Robert Pacholski
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, “BAG”) has held that a works council must be provided with the documents necessary for carrying out its duties at any time on request. A works committee or another committee of the works council formed in accordance with the provisions of the Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz, “BetrVG”) is entitled to inspect the lists of gross wages. This right to inspect is not limited to anonymized gross pay lists. Data protection considerations do not dictate that the right is limited to anonymized gross payrolls. The processing of personal data associated with the right of inspection is permitted under the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, “BDSG”).


Robert Pacholski
Robert Pacholski is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    The Greek Supreme Court, in a case about the transfer of a business and the obligation on the transferee to continue employing the transferred employees, underlined the importance of a thorough and genuine control on all factors to be taken into consideration in order to conclude on the existence of a transfer of undertaking or not: the business transferred must retain an autonomous economic identity, in the sense that the functional link between the different factors transferred is retained, thus allowing the new entity to use them in order to exercise an economic activity identical or similar to the previous one.


Effie Mitsopoulou
Effie Mitsopoulou is an attorney-at-law at Effie Mitsopoulou Law Office.

    Within the context of a transfer of undertaking in an asset reliant group of companies, the court should not just focus on whether the assets have been transferred between the two separate group companies, but also on whether one group company had actual control over the operation of the other group company.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a partner at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam, professor at Erasmus School of Law and editor-in-chief of EELC.

Eva Poutsma
Eva Poutsma is an attorney-at-law at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam.

    The Greek Supreme Court in Plenary Session, in a long-awaited decision, has ruled that an employee who has not been able to exercise his right to annual leave due to long-term sick leave is still entitled to his paid annual leave as well as to annual leave allowance.


Effie Mitsopoulou
Effie Mitsopoulou is an attorney-at-law at Effie Mitsopoulou Law Office.

    Applying the ECJ’s Maschek judgment, the Zutphen subdistrict court has found that an employee was not entitled to an allowance in lieu of untaken paid annual leave at the end of the employment relationship, as she had already received special leave. Moreover, the obligation to inform the employee concerning the right to (exercise) paid annual leave did not rest upon the employer.


Lisa de Vries
Lisa de Vries is a student at Erasmus School of Law and Editorial Assistant of EELC.

Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is Labour Law teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Law and editor of EELC.
Landmark 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.

Landmark Rulings

ECJ 22 April 2020, case C-692/19 (Yodel Delivery Network), Working Time, Employment Status

B – v – Yodel Delivery Network Ltd, UK case

Trefwoorden Working Time, Employment Status
Samenvatting

    Directive 2003/88/EC precludes a self-employed independent contractor from being classified as a ‘worker’ under the Directive, if they are afforded discretion on the use of subcontractors, acceptance of tasks, providing services to third parties and fixing their own hours of work, provided that the independence does not appear to be fictitious and no relationship of subordination between them and their putative employer can be established.

Rulings

ECJ 2 April 2020, case C-670/18 (Comune di Gesturi), Age Discrimination

CO – v – Comune di Gesturi, Italian case

Trefwoorden Age Discrimination
Samenvatting

    Directive 2000/78/EC, in particular the Articles 2(2), 3(1) and 6(1), does not preclude provisions prohibiting public administrative authorities from awarding analysis and consultancy roles to individuals who are already retired public or private employees, provided that the provisions pursue a legitimate aim in the field of employment and the labour market and the means of achieving that aim are not appropriate and necessary. This is for the referring court to determine.

Rulings

ECJ 2 April 2020, case C-830/18 (Landkreis Südliche Weinstraße), Free Movement

Landkreis Südliche Weinstraße – v – PF and others, German case

Trefwoorden Free Movement
Samenvatting

    Within the context of Article 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011/EU, legislation which provides for reimbursement of costs of school transport on the condition that the recipient lives in a federal state constitutes indirect discrimination, as it puts frontier workers on a disadvantage compared to workers living in that member state. Practical difficulties connected to an efficient organisation of this school transport are not imperative reasons of public interest which justify such indirect discrimination.

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

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

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

Rulings

ECJ 2 April 2020, joined cases C-370/17 and C-37/18 (CRPNPAC), Social Insurance

Caisse de retraite du personnel navigant professionnel de l’aéronautique civile (CRPNPAC) – v – Vueling Airlines SA (C-370/17); Vueling Airlines SA – v – Jean-Luc Poignant (C-37/18), French cases

Trefwoorden Social Insurance
Samenvatting

    E101 certificates which were fraudulently obtained can only be disregarded under specified conditions.

Rulings

ECJ 2 April 2020, case C-802/18 (Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants), Social Insurance

Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants – v – FV and GW, Luxembourg case

Trefwoorden Social Insurance
Samenvatting

    Child benefits connected with pursuing activities as employed persons are social advantages within the meaning of Article 45 TFEU and Article 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011/EU. Articles 1(i) and 67 of Regulation 883/2004/EC in conjunction with Articles 7(2) of Regulation 492/2011 and Article 2(2) of Directive 2004/38/EC preclude provisions according to which member states provide frontier workers only child benefits for their own children, but not for their spouses’ children who they support, while all children living in the member state are entitled to these childs benefits.

Rulings

ECJ 23 April 2020, case C-507/18 (Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI), Discrimination, Sexual orientation

NH – v – Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI – Rete Lenford (C-507/18), Italian case

Trefwoorden Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
Samenvatting

    Declarations by a person during a radio programme stating that he did not want to recruit homosexual persons to his firm nor use their services are covered by Directive 2000/78/EC.

Rulings

ECJ 23 April 2020, case C-710/18 (Land Niedersachsen (Périodes antérieures d’activité pertinente)), Other Forms of Free Movement, Terms of Employment

WN – v – Land Niedersachsen, German case

Trefwoorden Other Forms of Free Movement, Terms of Employment
Samenvatting

    A limitation of taking into account relevant work experience gained in a Member State other than the home Member State for the purpose of determining the level of remuneration is contrary to Article 45 TFEU.

Rulings

ECJ 7 May 2020, case C-96/19 (Bezirkhauptmannschaft Tulln), Working Time, Miscellaneous

VO – v – Bezirkshauptmannschaft Tulln, Austrian case

Trefwoorden Working Time, Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    A Member State can require a driver of a vehicle with a digital tachograph, if both automatic and manual entry are lacking, to present a statement which his employer has drawn up according to the form annexed to Decision 2009/959/EU on a form concerning social legislation relating to road transport activities.

Rulings

ECJ 30 April 2020, joined cases C-168/19 and C-169/19 (Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale), Pension, Other Forms of Discrimination

HB – v – Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale (INPS) (C-168/19); IC – v – Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale (INPS) (C-169/19), Italian case

Trefwoorden Pension, Other Forms of Discrimination
Samenvatting

    The Italian tax regime resulting from the Italian-Portuguese double taxation convention does not infringe with the principles of free movement and non-discrimination.

Rulings

ECJ 14 May 2020, case C-17/19 (Bouygues travaux publics and Others), Social Insurance

Bouygues travaux publics, Elco construct Bucarest, Welbond armatures – criminal proceedings, French case

Trefwoorden Social Insurance
Samenvatting

    In case C-17/19 (Bouygues travaux publics and Others), the ECJ found that an E-101 Certificate, issued by the competent institution of a Member State, to workers employed in the territory of another Member State, and an A-1 Certificate, issued by that institution to such workers, are binding on the courts or tribunals of the latter Member State solely in the area of social security.

Rulings

ECJ 30 April 2020, case C-211/19 (UO – v – Készenléti Rendőrség), Working time

UO – v – Készenléti Rendőrség, Hungarian case

Trefwoorden Working Time
Samenvatting

    The referring court must verify whether Article 2(1) and (2) of Directive 2003/88/EC apply to members of the law enforcement agencies who guard the external border of a Member State in the event of an influx of third-party nationals at those borders.

Rulings

ECJ 4 June 2020, case C-828/18 (Trendsetteuse), Miscellaneous

Trendsetteuse SARL – v – DCA SARL, French case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    A person does not necessarily need to have the power to change prices of goods which he sells as an agent for his principal, to be classified as commercial agent within the meaning of Article 1(2) of Directive 86/653/EEC.

Rulings

ECJ 4 June 2020, case C-588/18 (Fetico and others), Working Time, Paid Leave

Federación de Trabajadores Independientes de Comercio (Fetico), Federación Estatal de Servicios, Movilidad y Consumo de la Unión General de Trabajadores (FESMC-UGT), Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) – v – Grupo de Empresas DIA SA, Twins Alimentación SA, Spanish case

Trefwoorden Working Time, Paid Leave
Samenvatting

    Articles 5 and 7 of Directive 2003/88 do not apply to national rules providing for special leave on days when workers are required to work, when these days occur during weekly rest periods or paid annual leave.

Rulings

ECJ 25 June 2020, joined cases C-762/18 and C-37/19 (Varhoven kasatsionen sad na Republika Bulgaria), Paid Leave

QH – v – Varhoven kasatsionen sad na Republika Bulgaria (C-762/18), Bulgarian case and CV – v – Iccrea Banca SpA (C-37/19), Italian case

Trefwoorden Paid leave
Samenvatting

    Workers are entitled, for the period between an unlawful dismissal and reinstatement as an employee, to annual paid leave or, at the end of the employment relationship, to a payment in lieu of such leave not taken.

Rulings

ECJ 11 June 2020, case C-114/19 P (Di Bernardo), Miscellaneous

European Commission – v – Danilo Di Bernardo, EU Case

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    EC infringed its obligations to state reasons for not including an applicant on the reserve list for an open competition position.

Rulings

ECJ 25 June 2020, case C-570/18 P (HF – v – Parliament), Health and Safety

HF- v – European Parliament, EU Case

Trefwoorden Health and Safety
Samenvatting

    Within the context of a claim of psychological harassment, based on Article 41 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the EP’s Director-General for Personnel should have provided claimant at the least with a summary of the records of witness hearings drafted by the Advisory Committee. The annulment of the decision at issue constitutes appropriate compensation for any non-material damage which the appellant may have suffered in the present case.

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

Trefwoorden Fixed-term Work
Pending Cases

Case C-27/20, Social insurance

PF and QG – v – Caisse d’allocations familiales d’Ille-et-Vilaine (CAF), reference lodged by the Tribunal de grande instance de Rennes (France) on 21 January 2020

Trefwoorden Social insurance
Pending Cases

Case C-942/19, Fixed-term Work

Servicio Aragonés de la Salud – v – LB, reference lodged by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Aragón (Spain) on 31 December 2019

Trefwoorden Fixed-term Work
Pending Cases

Case C-44/20, Fixed-term Work

Autorità di Regolazione per Energia Reti e Ambiente (ARERA) – v – PC, RE, reference lodged by the Consiglio di Stato (Italy) on 27 January 2020

Trefwoorden Fixed-term Work
Pending Cases

Case C-63/20 P, Miscellaneous

Sigrid Dickmanns – v – European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), appeal against judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 18 November 2019 in Case T-181/19 Sigrid Dickmanns v European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Pending Cases

Case C-54/20 P, Miscellaneous

European Commission – v – Stefano Missir Mamachi di Lusignano and Others, appeal against judgment of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) of 20 November 2019 in Case T-502/16, Stefano Missir Mamachi di Lusignano and Others v Commission

Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Pending Cases

Case C-71/20, Work and residence permit

Anklagemyndigheden – v – VAS Shipping ApS, reference lodged by the Østre Landsret (Denmark) on 12 February 2020

Trefwoorden Work and residence permit
Pending Cases

Case C-105/20, Gender Discrimination, Part Time Work

UF – v – Union Nationale des Mutualités Libres (Partenamut) (UNMLibres), reference lodged by the Tribunal du travail de Nivelles (Belgium) on 27 February 2020

Trefwoorden Gender Discrimination, Part Time Work
Pending Cases

Case C-135/20, Fixed-term Work

JS – v – Câmara Municipal de Gondomar, reference lodged by the Supremo Tribunal Administrativo (Portugal) on 12 March 2020

Trefwoorden Fixed-term Work
Pending Cases

Case C-129/20, Maternity and Parental Leave

XI – v – Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants, reference lodged by the Cour de cassation du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (Luxembourg) on 9 March 2020

Pending Cases

Case C-130/20, Gender Discrimination, Pension

YJ – v – Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS), reference lodged by the Juzgado de lo Social n.º3 de Barcelona (Spain) on 9 March 2020

Trefwoorden Gender Discrimination, Pension
Pending Cases

Case C-166/20, Other Forms of Free Movement

BB – v – Lietuvos Respublikos sveikatos apsaugos ministerija (Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania), reference lodged by the Lietuvos vyriausiasis administracinis teismas (Lithuania) on 22 April 2020

Trefwoorden Other Forms of Free Movement
Pending Cases

Case C-194/20, Work and Residence Permit

BY and others – v – City of Duisburg, reference lodged by the Verwaltungsgericht Düsseldorf (Germany) on 7 May 2020

Trefwoorden Work and Residence Permit
Pending Cases

Case C-163/20, Social Insurance

AZ – v – Finanzamt Hollabrunn Korneuburg Tulln, reference lodged by the Bundesfinanzgericht (Austria) on 16 April 2020

Trefwoorden Social Insurance

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