Friday 8 July 2016

Carrying over Paid Annual Leave when Sick

Thanks to Karen Jackson of didlaw for preparing this case summary
If sickness prevents a worker from taking annual leave, can the leave be carried forward?

Yes, reaffirmed the ECJ in Sobczyszyn v Skola Podstawowa w Rzeplinie, in a case which doesn't really say anything new.

Ms Sobczyszyn, a teacher, took convalescence leave provided by a Teachers' Charter and was unable to use her annual leave. The school said that leave had been used during convalescence. A reference was made to the ECJ on the compatibility of the domestic Polish Teachers' Charter with the Working Time Directive 2003/88/EC.

Article 7(1) provides four weeks' annual leave for every worker which is a fundamental tenet of EU social law. Only on termination can payment be made in lieu. Annual leave accrues during sick leave, Stringer. If scheduled leave coincides with sickness, a worker can designate a different time to take leave, Pereda. The purpose of paid leave is rest and relaxation. Sick leave is for recovery from illness, it is not rest; annual leave can be rescheduled on recovery, ANGED.

Whether leave has been scheduled or booked makes no difference: if sickness prevents annual leave, workers must be able to use annual leave at a later date.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Subconscious Direct Discrimination

Thanks to Karen Jackson of didlaw for preparing this case summary
Is failing to address, or make a finding, in relation to subconscious or unconscious discrimination an error of law?

Sometimes, held the EAT in Geller v Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation.

A husband and wife worked for a joint salary and were made redundant. Mrs Geller brought claims including direct sex discrimination. The factual matrix was far from gender neutral, however an employment tribunal found that Mrs Geller had not been treated less favourably because of her sex.

The EAT overturned the decision because:

(1) Despite facts from which discrimination could be inferred, the tribunal failed to consider subconscious or unconscious discrimination. Only if discrimination is inherent in the act complained of is the tribunal released from the obligation to enquire into the mental processes of the alleged discriminator; and;

(2) Whilst there is no requirement to apply the two-stage test in the burden of proof provisions (section 136 Equality Act 2010) in a mechanistic or formulaic way or even at all, the tribunal\'s treatment of the reverse burden provisions in the case was rudimentary at best.

The decision could not stand and was remitted.