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Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases x Jaar 2016 x
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.
Case Reports

2016/45 Supreme Court rules on social security legislation applicable to temps posted abroad (PL)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Free movement, social security and temporary agency workers
Auteurs Marcin Wujczyk PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Temporary agency workers employed by a Polish agency and posted temporarily to France to work there under the direction of a French client are entitled to A1 certificates and, therefore, to remain governed by exclusively Polish social security legislation while working in France.


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

    If a collective agreement grants older employees a higher vacation claim solely because of their age, a younger employee is entitled to the same number of days of leave.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner and Jana Hunkemöller are, respectively, a partner in Essen and an associate in Düsseldorf with Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft mbH, www.luther-lawfirm.com.

Jana Hunkemöller

    A staffing agency rejected an application for an advertised job because the applicant refused to remove her hijab. The court of first instance saw no discrimination, the Court of Appeal did. The plaintiff was awarded €500 but had to bear her own legal expenses.


Caterina Rucci
Caterina Rucci is a partner at Bird & Bird in Milan, www.twobirds.com.

    The Supreme Court in this case establishes conditions to be met in order for the member of a Board of Directors to qualify as a self-employed “entrepreneur”. In light of these conditions, Directors must be considered to have the status of “individual contractor”, obligating them to pay increased social security contributions.


Marcin Wujczyk Ph.D.
Marcin Wujczyk, Ph.D., is a partner with Ksiazek & Bigaj in Krakow, www.ksiazeklegal.pl.
Case Reports

2016/33 Supreme Court clarifies rules on redundancy selection methods (NO)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden Redundancy selection
Auteurs Tore Lerheim en Ole Kristian Olsby
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The basic rule in Norwegian law is that an employer planning to reduce headcount must apply the rules for selecting those to be dismissed (based on seniority, qualifications, personal circumstances, etc.) to the entire workforce within the relevant legal entity. However, there are circumstances under which the employer may limit the pool of employees within which to apply those rules. In this case, the employer was justified in limiting that pool to one employee, thereby avoiding the need to make a selection.


Tore Lerheim
Tore Lerheim and Ole Kristian Olsby are partners with Homble Olsby advokatfirma in Oslo, www.Homble-olsby.no.

Ole Kristian Olsby
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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