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Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases x

    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.

    This article focuses on the posting of workers in the aviation industry. The main problem is that it is not clear in which situations the Posting of Workers Directive should be applied to aircrew (i.e. cabin crew and pilots). The aviation sector is characterised by a very mobile workforce in which it is possible for employees to provide services from different countries in a very short timeframe. This makes it, to a certain extent, easier for employers to choose the applicable social legislation, which can lead to detrimental working conditions for their aircrew. This article looks into how the Posting of Workers Directive can prevent some air carriers from unilaterally determining the applicable social legislation and makes some suggestions to end unfair social competition in the sector. This article is based on a research report which the authors drafted in 2019 with funding from the European Commission (hereafter the ‘Report’)


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert (PhD) is senior associate at the Brussels law firm Van Olmen & Wynant.

Pieter Pecinovsky
Pieter Pecinovsky (PhD) is counsel at the Brussels law firm Van Olmen & Wynant.
Case Reports

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

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2020
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.

    The Irish Workplace Relations Commission has found that the termination of a franchise arrangement between a post office and a retail partner and a subsequent arrangement with another retail partner constituted a transfer of undertaking.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a Senior Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

    The Brussels Labour Court of Appeal, in a judgment of 10 September 2019, has ruled that the notion of ‘maternity’ contained in the Belgian Gender Act does not go as far as protecting mothers against discrimination with regards to childcare, since this would confirm a patriarchal role pattern. However, a recent legislative change introducing ‘paternity’ as a protected ground might cast doubt on the relevance of this ruling for the future.


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

    While it is not strictly necessary to actually work in order to acquire leave entitlement under German law, the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that during a sabbatical (unpaid special leave) the employee does not gain any entitlement to paid annual leave.


Fabian Huber
Fabian Huber is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbh
Rulings

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-465/18 (Comune di Bernareggio), Miscellaneous

AV, BU – v – Comune di Bernareggio (intervener: CT), Italian case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Miscellaneous
Samenvatting

    An unconditional right of pre-emption to pharmacists employed by the municipal pharmacy in a tendering procedure is contrary to the freedom of establishment.

Pending Cases

Case C-652/19, Fixed-term work, Collective redundancies

KO – v – Fallimento Consulmarketing SpA, reference lodged by the Tribunale di Milano (Italy) on 2 September 2019

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Fixed-term work, Collective redundancies

    In two appeal cases considered jointly, the Court of Appeal (CA) has ruled that it is not direct or indirect sex discrimination, nor a breach of equal pay rights, to provide enhanced pay for maternity leave and statutory pay only for shared parental leave (SPL).


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

    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

2019/20 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.
Pending Cases

Case C-37/19, Paid Leave

CV – v – Iccrea Banca SpA Istituto Centrale del Credito Cooperativo, reference lodged by the Corte suprema di cassazione (Italy) on 21 January 2019

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2019

    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.

    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

    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
Law Review

2019/1 EELC’s review of the year 2018

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2019
Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Catherine Barnard, Filip Dorssemont e.a.
Samenvatting

    For the second time, various of our academic board analysed employment law cases from last year. However, first, we start with some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Catherine Barnard

Filip Dorssemont

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Francesca Maffei

Niklas Bruun

Anthony Kerr

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Daiva Petrylaite

Andrej Poruban

Stein Evju

    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 Polish national social insurance authority has no power to police ‘social dumping’. Neither is there any legal basis or justification for excluding workers performing work in other EU Member States from the national social insurance system based on an unverifiable assumption that social dumping is taking place.


Marcin Wujczyk PhD.
Marcin Wujczyk, PhD., is a partner with Baran Ksiazek Bigaj Wujczyk in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.

    The Irish Court of Appeal recently clarified the obligations of employers towards employees with a disability.
    The judgment suggests that an employer is not required to alter the duties of a position held by an employee with a disability in order to accommodate that employee’s return to work if the duties, which the employee is no longer capable of performing, are considered essential to the employee’s position.


Lucy O’Neill
Lucy O’Neill is an attorney at law at Mayson Hayes & Curran.
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