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Court Of Justice

EU Rights in the Spotlight – June

This EU Rights in the Spotlight section features two European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings regarding ‘EU Citizenship’ and ‘Freedom of Movement for Workers’:

June 18th 2020: EU Citizenship  – Right of entry to a Member State of a third-country national who is a member of the family of an EU citizen

On June 18th, the European Court of Justice ruled that a family member of an EU citizen who is not a national of a Member State, but who holds a permanent residence card, is exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa in order to enter the territory of the Member States. The Court clarified that this holds valid regardless if the card was issued by a Member State outside the Schengen area or a Member State within that area.

Furthermore, this card is to be considered as proof, in itself, that the holder is a family member of an EU citizen, as Member States issue a permanent residence card only to persons who have this status. As such, the holder of a residency card has the right to enter the territory of a Member State without further verification or proof of his or her status as a family member of an EU citizen being necessary.

The decision was based on an incident that took place in 2017, when Ryanair transported a passenger of Ukrainian nationality from London to Budapest. The passenger held a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen (issued by the UK), which has been invalidated, as well as a valid permanent residence card, also issued by the UK. They did not have a valid visa for Hungary. The Hungarian border authorities denied entry to the passenger and had his transported back to the UK.

*As the UK has now left the EU, the laws of the Union will be automatically applicable to the country only until 31 December 2020. 

More details can be viewed here.

The full text of the judgement can be viewed here.

June 25th 2020: Freedom of Movement for Workers – Workers’ Rights

On June 25th, the European Court of Justice ruled that workers are entitled, for the period between an unlawful dismissal and reinstatement as an employee, to annual paid leave or, at the end of the employment relationship, to a financial payment if such leave was not taken.

Where a worker’s inability to perform their duties is beyond their control, as it is in cases of sickness as well as cases where they were unlawfully dismissed, they are entitled to paid annual leave. The period between an unlawful dismissal and a reinstatement consequently counts as a period of ‘actual work’ for determining paid annual leave allowances, and where such leave was not taken but the worker was again dismissed, they are entitled to payment compensation. The one exception to this general rule is one where the employee, during periods where they were unlawfully dismissed and reinstated, took on new employment, in which case they are only entitled to paid leave in that period from the new employer for those dates where they were employed by their new employer.

The decision was based on two cases similar cases from Bulgaria and Italy. In both countries, employees were initially dismissed and then reinstated in their employment following a court judgment declaring her dismissal unlawful. Subsequently, the employees were again dismissed.

More details can be viewed here.

The full text of the judgement can be viewed here.

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