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Case Law

Access_open 2021/1 EELC’s review of the year 2020

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2021
Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Marianne Hrdlicka e.a.
Samenvatting

    Various of our academic board analysed employment law cases from last year. However, first, we start with some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Daiva Petrylaitė

Marianne Hrdlicka

Attila Kun

Luca Calcaterra

Francesca Maffei

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Niklas Bruun

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Andrej Poruban

Anthony Kerr

Filip Dorssemont
Pending Cases

Case C-411/20, Free Movement, Social Insurance

S – v – Familienkasse Niedersachsen-Bremen der Bundesagentur für Arbeit, reference lodged by the Finanzgericht Bremen (Germany) on 2 September 2020

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden Free Movement, Social Insurance

    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

2020/34 Challenge to validity of Workplace Relations Act 2015 unsuccessful (IR)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Unfair Dismissal, Fair Trial, Miscellaneous
Auteurs Orla O’Leary
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Irish Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has failed. The applicant in the case at hand argued that the WRC was unconstitutional for two reasons: (a) that the WRC carries out the administration of justice in breach of the general constitutional rule that only the courts may administer justice; and (b) several of the statutory procedures of the WRC were so deficient that they failed to vindicate the applicant’s personal constitutional rights. The High Court of Ireland dismissed both arguments.


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

ECJ 19 December 2019, case C-168/18 (Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG), Insolvency, pension

Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein VVaG – v – Günther Bauer, German case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Insolvency, Pension
Samenvatting

    A reduction of old-age pensions under Directive 2008/94 is manifestly disproportionate if the former employee lives or would have to leave below Eurostat’s at-risk-of-poverty threshold, even if s/he receives at least half of the amounts of the benefits from his/her acquired rights.

Case Law

2020/1 EELC’s review of the year 2019

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2020
Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Daiva Petrylaitė, Peter Schöffmann e.a.
Samenvatting

    Various of our academic board analysed employment law cases from last year. However, first, we start with some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Daiva Petrylaitė

Peter Schöffmann

Attila Kun

Francesca Maffei

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Niklas Bruun

Jan-Pieter Vos

Luca Ratti

Anthony Kerr

Petr Hůrka

Michal Vrajík
Pending Cases

Case C-511/19, Age discrimination

AB – v – Olympiako Athlitiko Kentro Athinon – Spyros Louis, reference lodged by the Areios Pagos (Greece) on 4 July 2019

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Age discrimination

    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.

    A mobility clause must be sufficiently precise, but this condition can still be fulfilled even if the clause tries to cover both current and possible future locations of the company, provided any future locations are still within France and provided any change of location is justified by the needs of the business.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is a partner with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami
Susan Ekrami is a senior associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.
Case Reports

2018/7 ‘Ryanair’ after ‘Ryanair’: Crew member still left empty-handed? (NL)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Private international law, Competency, Applicable law
Auteurs Amber Zwanenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A Dutch first instance court applies the recent ECJ Ryanair ruling (C-168/16 and C-169/16) in another Ryanair private international law dispute. Even though the Dutch court accepted jurisdiction, it applied Irish law to the employees’ unfair termination claim.


Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer in labour law at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam.
Law Review

Access_open 2018/1 EELC’s review of the year 2017

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2018
Auteurs Ruben Houweling, Catherine Barnard, Zef Even e.a.
Samenvatting

    This is the first time we have produced a review of employment law cases from the previous year, based on analysis by various of our academic board members. But before looking at their findings, we would first like to make some general remarks.


Ruben Houweling

Catherine Barnard

Zef Even

Amber Zwanenburg

Daiva Petrylaitė

Petr Hůrka

Jean-Philippe Lhernould

Erika Kovács

Jan-Pieter Vos

Andrej Poruban

Luca Ratti

Niklas Bruun

Francesca Maffei
ECtHR Court Watch

ECtHR 9 January 2018, application nos. 1874/13 and 8567/13, Fundamental rights, Privacy

Lopez Ribalda – v – Spain, Spanish case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Fundamental rights, Privacy
Samenvatting

    The Spanish courts breached Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights by accepting covert footage as valid evidence in court.

ECtHR Court Watch

ECtHR 5 September 2017 (Barbulescu), Application no. 61496/08, Privacy

Barbulescu – v – Romania, Romanian case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Fundamental rights, Privacy
Samenvatting

    In Barbulescu, the Court examined for the first time a case concerning the monitoring of an employee’s electronic communications by a private employer. The Grand Chamber decided differently from the Chamber, when it concluded that the Romanian courts, in reviewing the decision of a private employer to dismiss an employee after having monitored his electronic communications, failed to strike a fair balance between the interests at stake: namely the employee’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence, on the one hand, and his employer’s right to take measures to ensure the smooth running of the company, on the other.

Case Reports

2017/21 Legal rules for employers for monitoring employees in Slovakia (SK)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden Privacy, Unfair dismissal
Auteurs Gabriel Havrilla en Richard Sanák
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    An employer can monitor an employee’s emails provided it has made it clear beforehand that it might do so. It is permissible for the employer to prohibit employees from using its electronical equipment for private use, but if the employer is going to check whether this rule was being complied with, it needs to have a significant reason to do so and must respect the principles of legality legitimacy and proportionality.


Gabriel Havrilla

Richard Sanák
Gabriel Havrilla and Richard Sanák are respectively managing partner and junior associate with law firm Legal Counsels s.r.o., www.legalcounsels.sk.
Case Reports

2016/55 New Supreme Court decision on the distinction between independent contractors and employees (NO)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Independent contractors, Employees
Auteurs Marianne Jenum Hotvedt en Anne-Beth Engan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    EU employment protection is usually limited to “employees”, meaning that independent contractors are not covered. However, EU law often leaves it to Member States to determine the meaning of employee. The directives regulating transfers of undertakings, collective redundancies, written working conditions, information and consultation, part-time work, temporary agency workers etc. are all examples of protection covering only ‘employees’ as defined by each Member State.
    Consequently, the interpretation of ‘employee’ at the national level determines whether protection in EU law applies. This case report concerns the distinction between an independent contractor and employee. The question was whether a support worker for a child needing extra care and support should be considered as employed by Ålesund municipality. The majority (4-1) found that the support worker was an employee. The case illustrates how the notion of employee in Norwegian law adapts to new ways of organising work and may be of interest in other jurisdictions.


Marianne Jenum Hotvedt
Marianne Jenum Hotvedt is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Private law, University in Oslo. In 2015, she got her Ph.D. on the thesis ‘The Employer Concept’.

Anne-Beth Engan
Anne-Beth Engan is an associate with Advokatfirmaet Selmer DA in Oslo.

James Davies
James Davies is Joint Head of Employment team at Lewis Silkin LLP in London, www.lewissilkin.com.

    The Supreme Court of Lithuania recently affirmed that the courts have no competence to assess the merits of an employer’s decision to restructure and make staff redundant, as the decision was at the employer’s discretion to make.


Inga Klimašauskienė
Inga Klimašauskienė is an Associate Partner at GLIMSTEDT Law Firm in Vilnius, www.glimstedt.lt.

    Under Irish law, an employee claiming compensation for constructive dismissal bears a high burden of proof. Failure to exhaust the employer’s grievance procedure before bringing such a claim to court is generally a recipe for failure. However, a CEO who brought such a claim without first going through the grievance procedure was recently awarded record compensation of € 1.25 million.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a solicitor with Mason Hayes & Curran in Dublin, www.mhc.ie.
ECtHR Court Watch

ECtHR 12 January 2016, application 61496/08. (Bărbulescu), Fundamental Rights

Bărbulescu –v– Romania, Romanian case

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Fundamental Rights

    Austrian law permits the dismissal of an employee during parental leave only in cases where the employer cannot reasonably be expected to continue the contractual relationship. The colour of a hair ribbon does not justify the termination of a young father’s employment as a bus driver.


Christina Hießl
Christina Hießl is invited professor at Yonsei University, Graduate School of Social Welfare, Seoul http://yonsei.ac.kr.
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