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Case Reports

2019/20 How to interpret the Posting of Workers Directive in the cross-border road transport sector? Dutch Supreme Court asks the ECJ for guidance (NL)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden Private International Law, Posting of Workers and Expatriates, Applicable Law
Auteurs Zef Even en Amber Zwanenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this transnational road transport case, the Dutch Supreme Court had to elaborate on the ECJ Koelzsch and Schlecker cases and asks for guidance from the ECJ on the applicability and interpretation of the Posting of Workers Directive.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a lawyer with SteensmaEven, www.steensmaeven.com, and professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer and PhD Candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) has held that pre-employment as a freelancer must be taken into account in relation to the number of years having been with a firm as a freelancer when assessing the legality of a fixed-term contract due to the character of the specific deployment.


Sean Illing
Sean Illing is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) has held that pre-employment as a freelancer must be taken into account in relation to the number of years having been with a firm as a freelancer when assessing the legality of a fixed-term contract due to the character of the specific deployment.


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

Daniel Hilmer
Daniel Hilmer is an intern at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The Higher Administrative Court of Münster (Oberverwaltungsgericht, the ‘OVG’) has held that a minimum body height of 163 cm for applicants to the police service, irrespective of gender, is lawful. At least, this shall apply if the determination of a minimum body height standard is a suitability criterion for access to the police service. Minimum standards solely serve the purpose of ensuring fitness for service and result from a comprehensive investigation. The investigation in this case established that suitability for the police service can only be guaranteed from a height of 163 cm upwards.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is a partner at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    Austrian courts have to deal with an increasing number of cases concerning dismissal on grounds of (alleged) discrimination. The particular challenge is to a draw a conclusive distinction between the concepts of disability and sickness.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann is a teaching and research associate at the Institute for Austrian and European Labour Law and Social Security Law at Vienna University of Economics and Business, www.wu.ac.at/en/ars.

    A decision taken by an employer based on gender which respects the national legislation was considered discriminatory based on EU legislation.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).

Gabriela Ion
Gabriela Ion is an associate at Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).

    Following an appeal by Uber against the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) finding last year, which was featured in EELC 2018/9, that drivers engaged by Uber are ‘workers’ rather than independent contractors (reported in EELC 2018-1), the Court of Appeal (CA) has now upheld the EAT’s decision. The CA also upheld the finding of the Employment Tribunal (ET), which was featured in EELC 2017/10, that drivers are working when they are signed into the Uber app and ready to work (reported in EECL 2017-1). Uber has approximately 40,000 drivers (and about 3.5 million users of its mobile phone application in London alone) and so this decision has potentially significant financial consequences for the company.


Jemma Thomas
Jemma Thomas is a Senior Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Latvian Supreme Court recently used the ECJ Max Planck and Kreuziger judgments to explain how an employer can escape its obligation to compensate an employee for unused leave at the end of the employment relationship. The employer must prove that (a) it was possible for the employee to use the leave, and (b) the employer has in good time informed the employee that leave, if not used, might be lost and will not be compensated.


Andis Burkevics
Andis Burkevics is a senior associate with the Latvian office of law firm SORAINEN, www.sorainen.com.

    According to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Slovenia (Vrhovno sodišče Republike Slovenije) (Supreme Court), reintegration of a formerly dismissed employee does not mean that the employment relationship had not been terminated earlier. Consequently, the employee is entitled to an allowance in lieu of the untaken leave at the time of the dismissal.


Petra Smolnikar
Petra Smolnikar is the founder and manager at PETRA SMOLNIKAR LAW, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, http://petrasmolnikarlaw.eu.

    A recent decision by the Irish Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) found that a third level college lecturer had not been discriminated against on the grounds of gender in relation to her pay.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a Senior Associate with Mason Hayes & Curran, www.mhc.ie

    According to the Labour Court of Mons, calculating the termination indemnity of a worker based on the reduced remuneration paid during a career break called ‘time-credit’ is compatible with EU law, despite the Meerts judgment regarding parental leave.


Dr. Gautier Busschaert
Dr. Gautier Busschaert is attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.vow.be.
Case Reports

2019/21 Supreme Court rules on liability distribution between transferor and transferee (FI)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Auteurs Janne Nurminen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A municipal federation took back a nursing home operation it had previously outsourced to a contractor. The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place and the municipal federation (transferee) was liable to pay the employee compensation for the unlawful termination of the employment contract. Further, the Supreme Court held that the employee had also without a justifiable reason directed the claim for compensation towards the employer company (transferor/the old contractor) and for that reason was liable to pay the legal costs of the employer company.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
Case Reports

2019/13 A long-term functional impairment? (DK)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden Disability Discrimination
Auteurs Christian K. Clasen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    An employee’s functional impairment, which at the time of dismissal had had a duration of 11 months and with an uncertain prognosis, was not deemed a long-term one. For that reason, the Danish Western High Court found that the employee was not disabled within the meaning of the Anti-Discrimination Act or Directive 2000/78 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.


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

    The Supreme Court has ruled that a baker’s refusal to provide a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage was not sexual orientation discrimination, nor discrimination on grounds of political belief. The Northern Ireland bakery was owned by Christians who had religious objections to gay marriage (they thought Christian doctrine holds that marriage can only take place between a man and a woman). Gay marriage is not legal in Northern Ireland, although it is in the rest of the United Kingdom. Gay couples can enter into a ‘civil partnership’ in Northern Ireland, which formalises the relationship and provides it with legal recognition in a similar way to marriage.


Soren Kristophersen
Soren Kristophersen is a Legal Assistant at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    According to the Belgian Supreme Court, a choice of Belgian law for an employment relationship extends to all provisions beyond the employment contract. If parties choose to apply Belgian law to their employment relationship, this choice may extend to all provisions of Belgian law which regulate the mutual rights and obligations of the parties. This includes legislation on well-being at work and, hence, the payment of a protection indemnity following dismissal after filing a claim for harassment.


Dr. Gautier Busschaert
Dr. Gautier Busschaert is an attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.vow.be.
Case Reports

2019/5 For how long may data of a job applicant be stored? (AT)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Privacy, Discrimination, General
Auteurs Sophie Mantler en Andreas Tinhofer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A provision of Dutch law, according to which employees who lose their jobs upon retirement are excluded from the right to statutory severance compensation, is not in breach of the Framework Directive.


Sophie Mantler
Sophie Mantler is a senior associate and

Andreas Tinhofer
Andreas Tinhofer is a partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte in Vienna (www.mosati.at).

    The Iasi Court of Appeal has held that a request for resignation completed and signed after various forms of pressure from the employee’s superiors does not represent a termination of an individual labour agreement on the initiative of the employee, but a constructive dismissal.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the managing partner at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm.

    The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place in a situation where no contract of transfer was concluded.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com
Case Reports

2019/9 The right to object against a transfer in case of incorrect information is not unlimited (GE)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Transfer of undertaking, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Auteurs Nina Stephan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to German law, every employee has the right to object to the transfer of their employment relationship to the transferee in the case of a transfer of business. However, the right to object is not unlimited. The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (‘BAG’)) held that an employee who had worked for the transferee for seven years had lost this right if they had been informed about the transfer.


Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft mbH

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has clarified the grounds on which bad faith can be alleged in a victimisation claim under the Equality Act 2010 (‘EqA’). The EAT held that although motive in alleging victimisation could be relevant, the primary question is whether the employee acted honestly in giving the evidence or information, or in making the allegation. The concept of ‘bad faith’ is thus different in victimisation claims than whistleblowing claims.


Soyoung Lee
Soyoung Lee is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.
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