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CJEU Joined Cases C-569/16 and C-570/16 / Opinion

Stadt Wuppertal v Maria Elisabeth Bauer and Volker Willmeroth v Martina Broßonn.

Policy area:
Employment and social policy
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Type:
Opinion
Decision date:
29/05/2018

Key facts of the case

Requests for a preliminary ruling from Bundesarbeitsgericht.

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Social policy — Organisation of working time — Directive 2003/88/EC — Article 7 — Right to paid annual leave — Employment relationship terminated by the death of the worker — National legislation preventing the payment of an allowance to the legal heirs of a worker in lieu of paid annual leave not taken by him — Obligation to interpret national law in conformity with EU law — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Article 31(2) — Whether it may be relied upon in a dispute between individuals.

Outcome of the case

In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court should answer as follows the questions referred by the Bundesarbeitsgericht (Federal Labour Court, Germany) in Joined Cases Bauer (C‑569/16) and Willmeroth (C‑570/16):

(1) Article 7 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time must be interpreted as precluding national legislation or practice, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which provides that the entitlement to paid annual leave is lost without conferring entitlement to an allowance in lieu of outstanding paid annual leave, and which therefore makes it impossible for the deceased’s heirs to be paid such an allowance, where the employment relationship is terminated by the death of the worker.

(2) Moreover, in Bauer (C‑569/16), I propose that the answer to be given to the Bundesarbeitsgericht (Federal Labour Court) should be that: A national court hearing a dispute between an individual and a body governed by public law is obliged, where it is not possible for it to interpret the applicable national law in conformity with Article 7 of Directive 2003/88, to ensure within its jurisdiction the judicial protection deriving for individuals from that article and to guarantee the full effectiveness thereof by disapplying if need be any contrary provision of national law.

(3) Lastly, in Willmeroth (C‑570/16), I propose that the Court should rule that: A national court hearing a dispute between two individuals is obliged, where it is not possible for it to interpret the applicable national law in conformity with Article 7 of Directive 2003/88, to ensure within its jurisdiction the judicial protection deriving for individuals from Article 31(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and to guarantee the full effectiveness of that article by disapplying if need be any contrary provision of national law.