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    According to German law, every employee is entitled to paid annual leave. The amount of pay is generally calculated based on the current salary (known as the “principle of loss of pay”) but a reduction of working hours during the year does not lead to a reduction of entitlement to holiday pay for previously acquired holiday entitlements. If the entitlement was already acquired before the reduction of working time (which can happen because in Germany holiday entitlement is acquired at the beginning of the calendar year), pay during leave will be based on the salary agreed between the employer and employee when the holiday entitlement was acquired and thus, based on the ‘old’ salary.


Nina Stephan
Nina-Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Essen, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is an attorney-at-law and partner with Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Essen, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

    The Czech Supreme Court has ruled that the concept of good moral conduct must be taken into account when assessing whether an employee has breached his or her non-compete obligation and thus whether it is fair to demand that the employee pay a contractual penalty for the breach. The Court annulled the penalty.


Anna Diblíková
Anna Diblíková is an attorney at Noerr in Prague, www.noerr.com.

    A ‘false’ works agreement, which reduces the standard weekly working hours for permanent staff, also applies to leased employees. However, the pay of leased employees remains governed by the applicable collective bargaining agreement, rather than by the ‘false’ works agreement. Therefore, leased (part-time) employees benefitted from the reduced working hours by the ‘false’ works agreement, but received full pay based on the collective bargaining agreement.


Sarah Lurf
Sarah Lurf is an associate with Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH in Vienna, sms.law.

    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.


Peter C. Vas Nunes
Peter Vas Nunes is Of Counsel at BarentsKrans N.V., The Hague, the Netherlands.

    The Danish Supreme Court has held there was no discrimination against four part-time teachers at a university in that they did not receive pension contributions. Their positions could not be compared to those of full-time teachers, who were entitled to pension contributions. However, it did constitute a violation of the Danish rules on fixed-term work that the teachers had, for a number of years, been employed on several fixed-term contracts, as they had, in effect, been continuously employed in the same position. Consequently, the teachers were awarded compensation.


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

    Following the ECJ’s decision in Somoza Hermo – v – Ilunion Seguridad, C-60/17 (Somoza Hermo) of 11 July 2018, all eyes were on the Spanish Supreme Court. Since 2016, the Court has ruled a number of times that limitations to the liability of the new contractor established in a collective bargaining agreement (‘CBA’) in the context of a CBA-led transfer were valid (see e.g. EELC 2018/21). Somoza Hermo established that a CBA-led transfer that entails a non-asset-based transfer is a transfer within the meaning of the Acquired Rights Directive. Now the Supreme Court (in a decision dated 27 September 2018 taken with one dissenting opinion) is clear that its doctrine must be reviewed and has therefore held that limitations on pre-transfer liability for a new contractor under a CBA-led transfer that trigger a non-asset-based transfer, are not valid.


Luis Aguilar
Luis Aguilar is an attorney-at-law at Eversheds Sutherland in Madrid, Spain and associate professor of Employment Law at IE University in Madrid, Spain.

    The Austrian Supreme Court has held that the employer must notify the Employment Service (AMS) when it is contemplating collective redundancies, even if they are carried by mutual agreement. The duty of notification is triggered if the employer proposes a mutual termination agreement to a relevant number of employees, provided the offer is binding and can be accepted by the employees within 30 days. If the employer fails to notify the AMS, any subsequent redundancies (or mutual terminations of employment occurring on the employer’s initiative) are void, even if effected after 30 days.


Andreas Tinhofer
Andreas Tinhofer is a partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte, www.mosati.at.

    The Finnish Supreme Court has held that an employer discriminated against an employee by not renewing his employment at the end of a fixed-term contract because he was overweight.


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

    For workers without a fixed workplace, travelling time between their place of residence and the first customer and travelling time between the last customer and the place of residence constitutes working time.


Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky
Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky is Of Counsel at Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels www.vow.be, Assistant at Leuven University and Invited Professor at Université Catholique de Louvain.

    The Court of Appeal has confirmed that an expectation that a disabled employee would work long hours was a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ in a disability discrimination claim regarding reasonable adjustments. It also held that, on the facts, the employer’s conduct had caused the employee to resign and this entitled him to claim constructive unfair dismissal.


Tom McEvoy
Tom McEvoy is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    In a recent decision, the Labour Court awarded an employee € 7,500 for working in excess of 48 hours a week, contrary to working time legislation. The complainant allegedly regularly checked and responded to emails outside of business hours, occasionally after midnight. The Labour Court reiterated it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are not permitted to work beyond the statutory maximum period and that if an employer is aware that an employee is working excessive hours, must take steps to curtail this.


Lucy O’Neill
Lucy O’Neill is an attorney-at-law at Mason Hayes & Curran in Dublin, Ireland.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled both non-guaranteed and voluntary overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay.


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

    The Supreme Court has ruled that it is at the discretion of the competent national court to assess whether periods of stand-by time are working time. In doing so, the court should apply Romanian law as interpreted in the light of ECJ case law.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the managing partner of Suciu I The Employment Law Firm.
Case Reports

2018/32 When is travelling time working time? (NO)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Working time
Auteurs Marianne Jenum Hotvedt en Anne-Beth Engan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Norwegian Supreme Court concludes that time spent on a journey ordered by the employer, to and from a place other than the employee’s fixed or habitual place of work, should be considered working time within the meaning of the statutory provisions implementing the Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC). This ruling takes into account the Advisory Opinion of the EFTA Court.


Marianne Jenum Hotvedt
Marianne Jenum Hotvedt is an associate professor at the Department of Private law, University in Oslo. She got her PhD on the thesis ‘The Employer Concept’.

Anne-Beth Engan
Anne-Beth Engan is a senior associate with the law firm Selmer AS in Oslo.

    The Oporto Court of Appeal held that the employee’s availability 24 hours per day, 6 days per week, breaches the employee’s right to rest. However, such breach does not qualify the availability periods as overtime. The Court also found that the continuous use of a GPS system breached the employee’s right to privacy.


Dora Joana
Dora Joana is a managing associate with SRS Advogados, Lisbon.

    In its follow-up judgment to the ECJ’s preliminary ruling in the Hälvä case (C-175/16), the Finnish Supreme Court has held that ‘relief parents’ relieving foster parents in a child protection association on the latter’s holidays fall within the scope of the Finnish Working Hours Act even though the work was performed in the homes provided by the association for the children to live in. Therefore, the relief parents were entitled to the rights guaranteed by the Act (subject to the fact that some of their claims had expired).


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    The Court of Appeal has confirmed that discrimination arising from disability had occurred when an employer dismissed an employee for misconduct which was connected to the employee’s disability, even though the employer had no knowledge of the connection.


Emma Langhorn
Emma Langhorn is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    Two differently constituted Employment Appeal Tribunals (‘EATs’) have recently considered whether it is sex discrimination to pay men on parental leave less than women on maternity leave. In Capita, the EAT decided that it was not direct sex discrimination to fail to pay full salary to a father taking shared parental leave, in circumstances where a mother taking maternity leave during the same period would have received full pay. However in Hextall, the EAT has indicated that enhancing maternity pay but not pay for shared parental leave may give rise to an indirect sex discrimination claim by fathers.


Ludivine Gegaden
Ludivine Gegaden is a Trainee Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The Labour Court of Brussels treats the long-term effects of cancer as a disability in accordance with the case law of the ECJ. This has triggered an obligation on employers to consider making reasonable adjustments before looking at dismissal.


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

    The transferee in this case attempted to replace the transferred employees’ salaries with lower in accordance with its collective agreement, compensating for the reduction by means of a ‘personal allowance’, which it then proceeded to reduce by a set percentage based on the age of the employees each time there was a wage increase. The court held that this ‘basket comparison’ method of harmonising the wages of old and new staff was at odds with Directive 2001/23, rejecting the transferee’s argument that the ‘ETO’ provision in that directive permits such an amendment of the terms of employment.


Shamy Sripal
Shamy Sripal works for the Department of Labour Law of Erasmus School of Law.
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