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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.

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal has upheld an appeal against the finding that a committed Christian teacher who refused to separate from her husband following his conviction for sexual offences would have been dismissed regardless of her faith and therefore such a dismissal was not indirectly discriminatory. The EAT found instead that the Claimant was presented with the choice of having to separate from her husband or be dismissed which subjected people who have a faith-based commitment to marriage to a particular disadvantage.


Laurence Mills
Laurence Mills is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    An ‘independent contractor’ working for a company in a subordinate relationship should be considered as a de facto employee. In such a situation, the company and its legal representatives can be held liable for ‘concealed work’ and be subject to criminal penalties.


Charles Mathieu
Charles Mathieu is a lawyer with Jeantet in Paris, www.jeantet.fr.

    A 60-year old widow with a house but without income other than a small widow’s pension has successfully challenged legislation that moved the qualification age for state pension benefits from 65 to 67. A court has found that, in her particular case, the legislation constitutes an “individual and excessive burden” within the meaning of ECtHR case law on the First Protocol to the ECHR. The government was ordered to start paying the widow state pension from age 65 despite and contrary to the wording of the law.


Peter Vas Nunes
Peter Vas Nunes is an advocaat with BarentsKrans in The Hague, www.barentskrans.nl.
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