Article 23 - Equality between women and men
Article 33 - Family and professional life
Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Cour de cassation du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg.
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Social policy – Directive 2010/18/EU – Revised Framework Agreement on parental leave – National legislation making the grant of a right to parental leave subject to a condition of employment and to the mandatory affiliation in that regard of the worker to the social security scheme concerned on the date on which the child was born.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Eighth Chamber) hereby rules:
Clauses 1.1, 1.2, 2.1 and 3.1(b) of the Framework Agreement on parental leave (revised) of 18 June 2009, annexed to Council Directive 2010/18/EU of 8 March 2010 implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave concluded by BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP and ETUC and repealing Directive 96/34/EC, must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which makes the grant of a right to parental leave subject to the condition that the parent concerned is employed without interruption for a period of at least 12 months immediately preceding the start of the parental leave. By contrast, those clauses preclude national legislation which makes the grant of a right to parental leave subject to the condition that the parent has the status of a worker at the time of the birth or adoption of his or her child.
43) Furthermore, as is apparent from recital 8 of Directive 2010/18, the first paragraph of the preamble to the revised Framework Agreement and paragraph 3 of the general considerations of that framework agreement, which refers to Articles 23 and 33 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the objective of that framework agreement is both to promote equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work across the European Union and to enable working parents better to reconcile their professional, private and family life. Those objectives are reiterated in clauses 1.1 and 2.2 of the revised Framework Agreement.
44) Having regard to that context and those objectives, the individual right of each working parent to parental leave on the grounds of the birth or adoption of a child, enshrined in clause 2.1 of the revised Framework Agreement, must be interpreted as articulating a particularly important EU social right which, moreover, is laid down in Article 33(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. It follows that that right cannot be interpreted restrictively (see, to that effect, judgment of 27 February 2014, Lyreco Belgium, C‑588/12, EU:C:2014:99, paragraph 36 and the case-law cited).