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    The European Commission recently conducted a public consultation on the measures that may be taken to ensure the full application of the principle of equal pay between women and men. Its evaluation report is expected before the end of this year. The new Swiss legislation on monitoring and disclosure of the gender pay gap may be inspiration for future EU initiatives in this area.


Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux
Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux is an attorney-at-law at Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva, Switzerland.
Case Reports

2019/47 Transfer of undertakings does not include temporary agency workers (AT)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Transfer of undertakings, Transfer, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Auteurs Thomas B. Pfalz
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a series of rulings the Austrian Supreme Court has made it clear that temporary agency workers are transferred to the transferee only if they are assigned to the transferor on a permanent basis. According to the Court, the facts of the cases at hand are not comparable to those of the ECJ ruling in Albron Catering BV (C-242/09). Hence the temporary agency workers remain with their original employer. However, some aspects of the Court’s reasoning seem unclear if not contradictory with regard to other recent judgments.


Thomas B. Pfalz
Thomas B. Pfalz is a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Law at the University of Klagenfurt.

    The Federal Labour Court had to decide on a case in which an employee asserted claims for damages against his public employer on account of an overtime regulation which infringed European law. However, because he had failed to comply with the time limits, his lawsuit was unsuccessful in the final instance.


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

    The Supreme Court found that the Court of Appeal did not properly examine whether the difference of treatment of employees based on a social plan may be justified.


Ioana Cazacu
Ioana Cazacu is Managing Associate with POPOVICI NIŢU STOICA & ASOCIAŢII, Bucharest, Romania.

    The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has decided that the entitlement to paid annual leave only expires at the end of the calendar year or at the end of a carry-over period if the employer has previously put the employee in a position to take his leave and yet the employee has not taken the leave out of his own free will. The court held that the employer must cooperate in granting the leave. He has to encourage the employee to take his – concrete numbered - leave and inform him accurately and in good time, that the entitlement to paid leave would otherwise expire.


Daniel Zintl
Daniel Zintl is an attorney-at-law with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    The Court of Appeal (CA) has ruled that it was unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of a mistaken perception that she had a progressive condition which would make her unable to perform the full functions of the role in future.


Bethan Carney
Bethan Carney is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    Relying on the prohibition of age discrimination stemming from Directive 2000/78, the Labour Tribunal of Leuven refused to apply a Collective Labour Agreement establishing the minimum monthly salary for employees depending on their work experience even if not relevant and the Royal Decree enforcing it. The jurisdiction grounded its decision on the fact that this gave a strong advantage to older employees without objective justification.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney-at-law at Van Olmen & Wynant, Brussels, Belgium.

    The High Court (HC) dismissed an application by an employer for an interim injunction to prevent strike action organised by two trade unions, who were demanding parity of treatment for their members as compared to members of another union. It was more likely than not that the two unions would succeed in establishing, at the full trial of the matter, that the statutory protection under UK law for industrial action applied.


Kerry Salisbury
Kerry Salisbury is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    This was a case alleging detrimental treatment for whistleblowing brought by an employee working outside the UK against two co-workers also working abroad in the same location. The Court of Appeal (CA) ruled that there was no jurisdiction for the Employment Tribunal (ET) to hear the claim in relation to personal liability of the co-workers because they were outside the scope of UK employment law. The CA’s judgment potentially has implications for other types of claim brought by UK employees posted abroad where similar personal liability provisions apply, such as discrimination and harassment.


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

    The author discusses the recent ECJ judgments in the cases Egenberger and IR on religious discrimination.


Andrzej Marian Świątkowski
Andrzej Marian Świątkowski, is a Jean Monet Professor of European Labour Law and Social Security, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland and a member of the EELC Academic Board.
Case Reports

2019/34 Reduction of annual leave during parental leave is lawful (GE)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Maternity and parental leave
Auteurs Nina Stephan en David Meyer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Higher Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG)) has held that the pro rata reduction of annual leave depending on the period of parental leave is lawful. In general, statutory holiday entitlement also exists for the period of parental leave. However, the employer has the right to reduce leave pro rata for each full month of parental leave according to Section 17 paragraph 1 sentence 1 of the Federal Parental Allowances and Parental Leave Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG)). The proportional reduction is in line with European law.


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

David Meyer
David Meyer is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    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.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an Attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant.

    The decision pronounced by the first instance court related to the right of professional foster parents to request payment in lieu of untaken annual leave based on ECJ case law has been overruled by the Court of Appeal by making reference to a different ECJ ruling.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner and Gabriela Ion is an associate at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm (https://www.suciu-employmentlaw.ro).

Gabriela Ion

    The Luxembourg Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Luxembourg) confirmed that an employee dismissed with notice and exempted from performing their work during the notice period is no longer bound by the non-competition duties arising from their loyalty obligation and can therefore engage in an employment contract with a direct competitor of their former employer during that exempted notice period. However, the Court of Appeal decided that, even if the former employee is in principle entitled to use the know-how and knowledge they acquired with their former employer, the poaching of clients during the notice period must, due to the facts and circumstances and in the light of the rules applicable in the financial sector, be considered as an unfair competition act and therefore constitutes serious misconduct justifying the termination of the employment contract with immediate effect.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is the managing partner of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

Régis Muller
Régis Muller is partner within the Employment, Pension & Immigration department of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    Both the French Supreme Court and the Versailles Court of Appeal held that an employer, who must ensure that liberties and fundamental rights of each employee are respected in the working community, may lawfully prohibit the wearing of any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace, provided that the rule contained in the company rules and regulations applies without distinction to employees in direct contact with the customers of the company only. But in the absence of such rules, sanctioning an employee who refuses to remove her Islamic veil based on the wish of a customer, which does not qualify as a genuine and determining occupational requirement, amounts to an unlawful direct discrimination and should consequently be held null and void.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is partner and Thomas Robert is an attorney at Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, France.

Thomas Robert

    In a recent judgment, the Danish Supreme Court has established that it does not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act when a disabled employee is dismissed. The employee had a publicly funded reduced-hours job, but reached the statutory retirement age for which reason the public funding lapsed, and that was the reason for the dismissal.


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

2019/29 Eweida versus Achbita: a storm in a teacup? (EU)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Religious discrimination
Auteurs Morwarid Hashemi LLM
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Most scholars have argued that the Achbita judgment is not in line with the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, in particular with the Eweida judgment, and gives less protection to the employee than granted by the ECtHR. In this article, I provide a different perspective on the relation between both judgments and nuance the criticisms that followed the Achbita judgment.


Morwarid Hashemi LLM
Morwarid Hashemi LLM is a former student of Erasmus University Rotterdam

    The Italian Court of Cassation has interpreted a new provision referring to the obligations of the new service provider towards the employees of the former provider.


Caterina Rucci
Caterina Rucci is founding partner of Katariina’s Gild.
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.
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