European Law (2016/2017) Seminar 5

Seminar 5 of the Course European Law (2016/2017), Utrecht University

This is a seminar about Week 6!

Week 6 European Law (Seminar 5)

Equal treatment in employment


Question 1

Which similarities and/or differences are to be discerned between the discrimination prohibition on the grounds of age, handicap, belief and sexual orientation of Directive 2000/78, and the discrimination prohibition on the ground of nationality of Article 45 TFEU?

Take regard of their personal and material scope and their interpretation by the ECJ.


Answer to question 1:

Differences: The discrimination prohibition on grounds of age, handicap, belief and sexual orientation fall within the scope of the Directive. This Directive concerns equal treatment in employment, without cross-border element. It’s about internal labour situations. Therefore, the Directive has to be implemented in national law. The Directive applies to the public sector. The Directive is based on article 19 TFEU. 

The discrimination prohibition on the ground of nationality does concern a cross-border element. It can be invoked in other Member States. Article 45 TFEU has a community meaning and is applicable in all of the Member States. Article 45 TFEU does not apply to the public service (par. 4). Article 45 TFEU could be regarded as a lex specialis to article 18 TFEU.

Similarity: Both discrimination prohibitions have the objective to protect workers in the European Union, but the Directive also applies to self-employed persons. The Directive has a broader scope. This is a difference, but they both concern workers.


Question 2

A private school employs 100 female teachers, of which 40 work part time, and 50 male teachers, of which 10 work part time. Ms. Peters, who works 4 hours a day, is a member of the school’s works council (WsC). According to national law, members of the WsC can perform their WsC’s tasks in working time and are being paid their salary according to their employment contract. One day, the members of the WC take a full day-training course in labour law. The full time members receive payment according to 8 hours, however Ms Peters is only paid according to 4 hours because this is her contractual working time per day.


  1. Is Ms Peters discriminated against on the basis of EU law? If so, does it constitute direct or indirect discrimination, and on what discrimination ground?


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