Welcome to the European Employment Law Cases (EELC), an online database of judgments of national courts, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights in the field of employment law. In addition to case law, we also bring you the occasional articles and news items. For more information, please click here.
2011/59: Employer must consider employee’s personal circumstances (SP)
An employer’s refusal to grant an employee’s request for a change in his working hours in order to achieve a better work-life balance must take into account the decision’s impact on the employee’s family. Failure to do so may amount to discrimination.
ECJ 10 March 2011, case C-477/09 (Charles Defossez - v – Christian Wart, in his capacity as liquidator of Sotimon Sarl and others), Insolvency
Article 3 of Directive 80/987 in the pre-Directive 2002/74 version is to be interpreted as meaning that, for the payment of the outstanding claims of workers having been habitually employed in a Member State other than that where their employer was established, where the employer was declared insolvent before 8 October 2005 and that employer is not established in that other Member State and fulfils its obligation to contribute to the financing of the guarantee institution in the Member State where it is established, that institution will be liable. However, Member States may allow employees to claim under a more favourable regime.
ECJ 10 March 2011, case C-379/09 (Maurits Casteels – v – British Airways plc), Collective agreements, Others forms of free movement
Article 48 TFEU has no horizontal direct effect.
Article 45 TFEU precludes, in the context of the mandatory application of a collective labour agreement and for the determination of entitlement to pension benefits (i) non-inclusion of service years in different Member States and (ii) treating transfer to another Member State as leaving the employer.
ECJ 10 March 2011, case C-109/09 (Deutsche Lufthansa AG – v – Gertraud Kumpan), Fixed-term work
Clause 5(1) of the Framework Agreement must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of “a close objective connection with a previous employment contract of indefinite duration concluded with the same employer” in Paragraph 14(3) TzBfG must also be applied to situations in which a fixed-term contract has not been preceded less than six months previously by an indefinite contract, where the initial employment relationship continued for the same activity by means of an uninterrupted succession of fixedterm contracts.
ECJ 4 March 2011, case C-258/10 (Nicusor Grigore – v – Regia Nationala a Padurilor Romsilva), Working time
Article 2(1) of the Directive is to be interpreted as meaning that a period during which a forest warden with a contractual eight-hour working day is responsible for supervising a certain area of forest qualifies as “working time” within the meaning of that provision, if the nature and extent of that supervision, combined with his responsibility, require his physical presence at work and if he is at his employer’s disposal during such presence. It is up to the referring court to determine whether this is the case.
The qualification of a period as “working time” does not depend on the availability of lodgings on site if such availability does not imply a requirement to be physically present at the work location. It is up to the referring court to determine whether this is the case.
Article 6 of the Directive precludes, in principle, a situation in which a forest warden, even though his contract stipulates an 8-hour work day and a 40-hour week, is actually forced to work in excess of those limits. It is for the referring court to examine whether this is the case and, if so, whether Romania has exercised its options to derogate from Article 6.
The employer’s obligation to pay salary for periods during which a forest warden is responsible for supervising an area of forest depends solely on domestic law.
ECJ 3 March 2011, cases C-235/10 to C-239/20 (David Claes et al – v – Landsbanki Luxembourg SA in liquidation), Collective redundancy
The Directive applies to a termination of the activities of an employer as a result of a judicial decision ordering its dissolution and winding up on grounds of insolvency, even though, in the event of such a termination, national legislation provides for the termination of employment contracts with immediate effect. As long as the employer exists as a legal entity, its duty to consult with the staff’s representatives must be carried out by management or by its liquidator.
2011/47 Supreme Court upholds law reducing retirement benefits of former communist secret service members (PL)
In 2009 the Polish Parliament amended the law in such a way that the retirement benefits of former members of the communist secret service were reduced. This deprivation of acquired rights was judged to be constitutional and proportionate and, therefore, lawful.
2015/4 Burden of proof in mobbing, dignity and discrimination cases (CR)
The Supreme Court has rejected the distinction that the lower courts previously made between harassment by the employer (‘mobbing’) and violation of the employee’s dignity, for which special burden of proof rules existed until 2010. In addition, the Supreme Court held that an employer may not discriminate against an employee on the grounds of his level of education.
ECJ 1 March 2011 (Grand Chamber), case C-236/09 (Association belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats ASBL, Yann van Vugt and Charles Basselier – v – Council of Ministers), Gender discrimination
Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/113/EC is invalid with effect from 21 December 2012.
2011/39 No damages for discriminatory dismissal (AT)
Prior to 1 August 2008, Austrian victims of discriminatory dismissal could (probably) claim nothing but reinstatement. Claims for monetary compensation were always rejected. Even since a change of law in 2008, the courts may still be reluctant to award more than minimal compensation.