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Brussels, 6 April 2011

Employment Equality: European Commission refers Italy to the EU's Court of Justice

The Commission has referred Italy to the EU's Court of Justice concerning the transposition of Directive 2000/78/EC, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation.

Directive 2000/78/EC establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment, occupation and vocational training (Employment Equality Directive). This Directive covers direct and indirect discrimination, as well as harassment in employment and training on the grounds of religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation. It includes specific requirements for reasonable accommodation for disabled people.

The Commission brought infringement proceedings against Italy (IP/09/1620) following its failure to fully implement the EU Directive.

Italy is being referred to the Court of Justice for having incorrectly transposed the Directive. Article 5 of the Directive requires that the employer provide reasonable accommodation for disabled persons so that they can have access to employment and advance in their careers.

In referring Italy to the Court of Justice, the Commission pointed out that Italy has not completely transposed this provision, as Italian law does not provide for a general rule whereby the employer has to provide for reasonable accommodation for all disabled persons and regarding all aspects of employment.

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