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CJEU Case C-24/17/ Judgment

Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, Gewerkschaft Öffentlicher Dienst v Republik Österreich

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
First Chamber
Decision date:
08/05/2019

Key facts

  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 45 TFEU, Articles 21 and 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’), Article 7(1) of Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the Union (OJ 2011 L 141, p. 1) and of Articles 1, 2, 6 and 17 of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ 2000 L 303, p. 16).
  2. The request has been made in the context of proceedings between the Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, Gewerkschaft Öffentlicher Dienst (Austrian Confederation of Trade Unions, Public Service Union) (‘the Gewerkschaftsbund’) and the Republik Österreich (the Republic of Austria) concerning the lawfulness of the federal system for the remuneration and advancement of contractual public servants adopted by the Austrian legislature in order to put an end to discrimination on the ground of age.

Judgement

On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Articles 1, 2 and 6 of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, read in combination with Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, entering into force retroactively, that, for the purposes of putting an end to discrimination on grounds of age, provides for the transition of active contractual public servants to a new system of remuneration and advancement in the context of which the initial grading of those contractual public servants is calculated according to their last remuneration paid under the previous system.
  2. In the event that national provisions cannot be interpreted in conformity with Directive 2000/78, the national court is required to provide, within the limits of its jurisdiction, the legal protection that individuals derive from that directive and to ensure the full effectiveness of that directive, disapplying, if need be, any incompatible provision of national legislation. EU law must be interpreted as meaning that, where discrimination, contrary to EU law, has been established, as long as measures reinstating equal treatment have not been adopted, the restoration of equal treatment, in a case such as that at issue in the main proceedings, involves granting contractual public servants treated unfavourably by the old system of remuneration and advancement the same benefits as those enjoyed by the contractual public servants favoured by that system, both as regards the recognition of periods of service completed before the age of 18 and advancement in the salary scale and, consequently, granting compensation to contractual public servants discriminated against that is equal to the difference between the amount of remuneration the contractual public servant should have received if he had not been treated in a discriminatory manner and the amount of remuneration he actually received.
  3. Article 45 TFEU and Article 7(1) of Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on freedom of movement for workers within the Union must be interpreted as precluding national legislation, in accordance with which, in order to determine the remuneration seniority of a contractual public servant, previous service periods completed in an employment relationship with a local authority or municipal association of a Member State of the European Economic Area, the Republic of Turkey or the Swiss Confederation, or with an organisation of the European Union or an intergovernmental organisation of which Austria is a member, or with any similar body, must be accredited in their entirety, whereas all other previous service periods are taken into account only up to a maximum of 10 years and in so far as they are relevant.