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Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases x

    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.

    Racist ‘liking’ on Facebook may justify dismissal for serious misconduct, says the Labour Court of Liège in a decision of 24 March 2017. This case is interesting because, to the author’s knowledge, it is the first time that a simple ‘like’ (as opposed to a proper comment) on Facebook is assessed by a Belgian judge with a view to validate a dismissal for serious misconduct. This case also raises serious questions about the limits to the freedom of expression in social media.


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

    The Czech Supreme Court has given guidance on the limits to employees’ free speech. Employees must not engage in any conduct, even outside working hours, that could actually or potentially damage their employer’s business. Any criticism of an employer must be based on facts and not be misleading or defamatory. Inappropriate or unjustified criticism may lead to immediate termination of employment.


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

    A recent decision by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) found that the dismissal of an employee for putting “derogatory” comments on Facebook about a colleague was unfair.


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

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal (‘EAT’) has upheld an Employment Tribunal’s (‘ET’s’) finding that Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’) was not engaged when an employer used private material obtained by the police during a criminal investigation as part of an internal disciplinary investigation into one of its employees. This material had been taken from the claimant’s phone by the police, who then provided it to the employer (stating that it could be used for the purposes of their investigation). The facts in this case were unusual. Whether or not an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in similar circumstances will depend on all the facts, including the source of the information, whether the employee has expressly objected to its use, and whether the relevant conduct took place in, or was brought into, the workplace.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.
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