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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.
Case Reports

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

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden Race, Nationality Discrimination, Discrimination General
Auteurs Zsofia Olah
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    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.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) has ruled that the user of an online platform (‘crowdworker’) who takes on so-called ‘microjobs’ on the basis of a framework agreement concluded with the platform operator (‘crowdsourcer’) can be an employee of the crowdsourcer. This applies in a case where the framework agreement is aimed at a repeated acceptance of such microjobs. The decisive factor is whether the crowdworker performs work that is subject to instructions and is determined by third parties in the context of the actual performance of the contractual relationship. The name of the contract is irrelevant. One assumes an employment relationship if the crowdsourcer controls the collaboration via an online platform operated by them in such a way that the crowdworker cannot freely shape their activity in terms of place, time and content.


Katharina Gorontzi
Katharina Gorontzi, LLM, is a senior associate at Luther lawfirm in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Jana Voigt
Jana Voigt is a senior associate at Luther lawfirm in Dusseldorf, Germany.
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

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden Fixed-term Work, Transfer of Undertakings, Employment Terms
Samenvatting

    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 15 April 2021, Case C-30/19 (Braathens Regional Aviation AB), Race, Nationality Discrimination

Diskrimineringsombudsmannen – v – Braathens Regional Aviation AB, Swedish case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden Race, Nationality Discrimination
Samenvatting

    If, in a discrimination case, a defendant is willing to pay the full compensation claimed but denies the existence of that discrimination, the discrimination claim must still be heard.

    The Bulgarian Supreme Court of Cassation in a decision of 2 February 2021 has ruled that in cases where the selection process is not a mandatory part of the termination procedure it is entirely up to the employer to conduct the selection and base its termination decisions on the results of such selection.


Kalina Tchakarova
Kalina Tchakarova is a partner at Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov and Velichkov.
Artikel

Access_open Meer en zwaarder toezicht na detentie

Uitbreiding van de lijst van bijzondere voorwaarden binnen de voorwaardelijke invrijheidstelling

Tijdschrift PROCES, Aflevering 4 2021
Trefwoorden voorwaardelijke invrijheidstelling, bijzondere voorwaarden, gedragsbeïnvloedende maatregel, vrijheidsbeperkende maatregel
Auteurs Mirte Bikker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Part of the new legislation to reform the Dutch conditional release system contains a substantial expansion of the list of individualised conditions under which sentenced prisoners can be released early. These include a prohibition on settlement in a certain area, travelling abroad and on certain voluntary work, an obligation to move and the compensation of damage caused by the offense. These additional individualised conditions have significant implications on the specific character of the conditional release system, the legal protection of offenders, and the ratio between the conditional release system and the already existing conditional measure with regard to serious violent and sex offenders.


Mirte Bikker
Mr. Mirte Bikker is masterstudent Jeugdrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden en heeft een afgeronde master Straf- en strafprocesrecht aan diezelfde universiteit (2019). Daarnaast is zij commissiesecretaris bij de Afdeling rechtspraak van de Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeugdbescherming.
Artikel

The Belgian debate on restitution since 2018

A perspective on the political acts shaping

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden restitution of cultural heritage, Belgium, decolonisation, return
Auteurs Yasmina Zian
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses political discourses in the light of the vocabulary and suggestions contained in the parliamentary resolutions proposed in 2019 dealing with the restitution. It appears that the discourses are committed but the developed suggestions are mild. This apparent contradiction can be explained through Hanna Pitkin’s work on political representation. Using this analysis, two reflections are proposed in the conclusion: one on the Belgian case with regards to the European context and the other on the current expectations of society.


Yasmina Zian
Dr. Yasmina Zian is postdoctoral onderzoekster in de Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences sociales, Centre interdisciplinaire d’études des réligions et de la laïcité aan de Université Libre de Bruxelles en in het Swiss Forum for Migration aan de Université de Neuchâtel.
Artikel

Access_open Professional Ethics for Judges – Lessons Learned from the Past. Dialogue as Didactics to Develop Moral Leadership for Judges

Special Issue on Education in (Professional) Legal Ethics, ­Emanuel van Dongen & Jet Tigchelaar (eds.)

Tijdschrift Law and Method, juli 2021
Trefwoorden professional ethics, ethical dilemmas, judiciary, independence
Auteurs Alex Brenninkmeijer en Didel Bish
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    There is an intimate link between good conduct by judges and the rule of law. The quintessence of their role is that judges shape a trustworthy and fair legal system from case to case. Ethical trading is not carved in granite, and judges must determine their course on different levels. First, it concerns personal conduct and requires integrity and reliability. On the second level, the challenge is to achieve proper adjudication by conducting a fair trial in accordance with professional standards. Third, judges exercise discretion, in which normative considerations run the risk of becoming political. They should act independently as one of the players in the trias politica. A triptych of past cases illustrate moral dilemmas judges may encounter in their profession. Calibrating the ethical compass is not an abstract or academic exercise. A dialogue at the micro (internal), meso (deliberation in chambers) and macro levels (court in constitutional framework) could be incorporated in the legal reasoning as a didactic framework to make future judges aware of their ethical challenges.


Alex Brenninkmeijer
A.F.M. Brenninkmeijer, PhD is Member of the European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg. Professor of Institutional Aspects of the Rule of Law at Utrecht University.

Didel Bish
D.A. Bish, LLM is a trainee at the European Court of Auditors, Luxembourg.
Artikel

Access_open Langlopende letselschadezaken: wat zijn de belangrijkste kenmerken?

Tijdschrift Afwikkeling Personenschade, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Langlopende letselschadezaken, Personenschade, Letselschade, Schadeafwikkeling
Auteurs Dr. mr. R. Rijnhout, D.W. van Maurik LLB, Mr. dr. E.G.D van Dongen e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Langlopende letselschadezaken kunnen om meerdere redenen nog openstaan. Het is niet mogelijk om één dominante omstandigheid te benoemen als hét kenmerk van een langlopend letselschadedossier. In dit artikel worden de belangrijkste bevindingen uit het onderzoek gepresenteerd.


Dr. mr. R. Rijnhout
Dr. mr. R. Rijnhout LLM is als Universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan Ucall en het onderzoekscluster Empirical legal research into institutions for conflict resolution, en was projectleider van dit onderzoek.

D.W. van Maurik LLB
D.W. van Maurik LLB is student-assistent bij Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (Ucall) en heeft tevens als onderzoeksstudent een bijdrage geleverd aan de uitvoering van het onderzoek.

Mr. dr. E.G.D van Dongen
Mr. dr. E.G.D. van Dongen LLM is als Universitair docent verbonden aan Ucall.

Prof. mr. I. Giessen
Prof. mr. I. Giesen is als hoogleraar burgerlijk recht verbonden aan Ucal.
Artikel

Access_open Thought Experiments in Law

Special Issue on Experimental Legislation in Times of Crisis, Sofia Ranchordas & Bart van Klink (eds.)

Tijdschrift Law and Method, mei 2021
Trefwoorden legal empirical studies, legal methodology, philosophy of law, thought experiments
Auteurs Gabriel Doménech-Pascual
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Thought experiments have been widely used in virtually all sciences and humanities. Law is no exception. We can find countless instances of such experiments in both the legal practice and the legal theory. However, this method has hardly been studied by legal scholars, which contrasts with the vast literature devoted to it in other fields of knowledge. This article analyses the role that some thought experiments – those where an imaginary legal change is made, and its social effects are observed – may play in law. In particular, we show why these empirical legal thought experiments might be useful for the practice and theory of law, the main principles for conducting them and how the law deals with them.


Gabriel Doménech-Pascual
Dr. Gabriel Doménech-Pascual, PhD is full professor of Administrative Law at the University of Valencia, Spain. I thank Bart van Klink, Sofia Ranchordas, Alba Soriano, María José Añón, Pablo de Lora, Diego Papayannis, Arturo Muñoz, Violeta Ruiz, Pedro Herrera, Viviana Ponce de León, Maximiliano Marzetti, and two anonymous referees for their useful and thoughtful comments. All remaining errors are mine.
Artikel

Access_open Dismissal protection in Germany

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Ontslagrecht, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden Statutory and judge-made dismissal protrection in germany, Dismissal protection and constitutional law, The importance of the case law, Legal principles, Payments during sickness
Auteurs dr. Bernd Waas
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article provides overview of the main elements of protection against dismissal in germany. In particular, the possible reasons for dismissal and the substantive requirements are discussed. The procedural aspects and remedies are also dealt with. Finally, it is explained, how the payment during sickness is organized.


dr. Bernd Waas
Bernd Waas is Chair of Labour Law and Civil Law under consideration of European and International Labour Law at Goethe-Universität.
Article

Access_open Text-mining for Lawyers: How Machine Learning Techniques Can Advance our Understanding of Legal Discourse

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden text mining, machine learning, law, natural language processing
Auteurs Arthur Dyevre
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Many questions facing legal scholars and practitioners can be answered only by analysing and interrogating large collections of legal documents: statutes, treaties, judicial decisions and law review articles. I survey a range of novel techniques in machine learning and natural language processing – including topic modelling, word embeddings and transfer learning – that can be applied to the large-scale investigation of legal texts


Arthur Dyevre
Arthur Dyevre is Professor at the KU Leuven Centre for Empirical Jurisprudence, Leuven, Belgium. arthur.dyevre@kuleuven.be.

    In 2014, the ECJ was presented with a preliminary reference from the District Court in Kolding on the matter of whether EU law provides protection against discrimination on grounds of obesity with regard to employment and occupation. Following the ECJ’s ruling, first the District Court and later the High Court found that an employee’s obesity as such did not constitute a disability within the meaning of Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation since his obesity had not constituted a limitation or inconvenience in the performance of his job.


Christian K. Clasen
Christian K. Clasen is a partner at Norrbom Vinding.

    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.

    The Vaslui Tribunal has recently annulled an individual dismissal decision issued during the state of alert in Romania due to formalities which had not been observed by the employer. While the judge invested with determining the matter limited their analysis to the elements contained in the individual dismissal decision, the judicial assistant ascertained, within a competing opinion, that the dismissal decision should have been annulled for other reasons, namely for the fact that, in reality, the employer had implemented a collective redundancy process without observing the procedure and employees’ rights in the event of such dismissal. Relying on the provisions of Directive 98/59/EC of 20 July 1998 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to collective redundancies, the judicial assistant has made an exhaustive analysis of the conditions required for the existence of a collective dismissal.
    While the competing opinion does not have the same effect as a court ruling, it is part of the judicial procedure and, from this perspective, the independence and impartiality of all the members of the court and their obedience solely to the law is maintained.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Managing Partner of Suciu I The Employment Law Firm.

Andreea Serban
Andreea Serban is an attorney-at-law at Suciu I The Employment Law Firm.
Case Law

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

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2021
Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Marianne Hrdlicka 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

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-574/20, Social Insurance

XO – v – Finanzamt Waldviertel, reference lodged by the Bundesfinanzgericht (Austria) on 3 November 2020

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Social Insurance
Rulings

ECJ 17 December 2020, case C-601/19 P (BP v FRA), Miscellaneous

BP – v – European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), EU Case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    Appeal against non-renewal of fixed-term contract found invalid.

    Following ECJ case law, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia has ruled that a worker is entitled to compensation for unused annual leave in the event that the termination of employment has occurred 15 months after the end of the transfer period (i.e. the period for the transfer of the right to use annual leave) provided for in national legislation. The relevant transposition period is therefore three months longer than the transposition period set out in the Slovenian law.


Petra Smolnikar
Petra Smolnikar is the founder and manager at PETRA SMOLNIKAR LAW.

Tjaša Marinček
Tjaša Marinček is a student assistant at PETRA SMOLNIKAR LAW.
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