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MEMO/08/68

Brussels, 31 January 2008

“Employment” Directive (2000/78/EC): list of Member States to which a reasoned opinion or letter of formal notice will be sent

Reasoned opinion

Estonia

  • No ban on discrimination as regards civil servants, self-employment, and membership of or participation in a professional organisation
  • The definition of harassment only covers hierarchical relationships
  • Exceptions to the ban on discrimination based on occupational requirements too broad
  • No obligation to make reasonable accommodation for disabled employees
  • No justification for certain age differences in the public service
  • Incorrect definition of the provision on the shift of the burden of proof
  • No protection against victimisation

France

  • Incorrect definitions of direct and indirect discrimination and harassment
  • Restrictive definition of instructions to discriminate
  • No ban on discrimination in access to self-employment or with regard to professional organisations
  • Limitation of the right of interested bodies (especially associations) to appear in court to defend victims of discrimination
  • Inadequate penalties for forms of victimisation other than dismissal

Finland

  • The exception for occupational requirements is broader than authorised by the Directive
  • The ban on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation is not guaranteed for public service workers

Greece

  • Incorrect definition of harassment
  • Exclusion of fire services from the legislation transposing the Directive

Hungary

  • Incorrect definition of indirect discrimination
  • No ban on discrimination relating to membership of or participation in an employers’ or self-employed workers’ organisation
  • The obligation to make reasonable accommodation for disabled employees is too restricted
  • Incorrect definition of the obligation concerning the shift of the burden of proof

Ireland

  • Incorrect definition of indirect discrimination
  • Discrimination based on beliefs is not prohibited
  • Exclusion of protection against discrimination for certain “private” types of employment
  • Interested bodies do not have the right to participate in legal proceedings on behalf of victims of discrimination
  • Limit to damages payable to victims of discrimination
  • The exception from the ban on discrimination on grounds of religion is too broad

Malta

  • The ban on discrimination does not cover access to self-employment or occupation
  • Protection against victimisation in the public sector does not cover discrimination on grounds of age or sexual orientation

Netherlands

  • Incorrect definitions of direct and indirect discrimination
  • The ban on discrimination does not apply to “personal services”
  • The exceptions for employment in a church or religious association are broader than authorised by the Directive

Sweden

  • No transposition relating to age discrimination
  • Limited protection against harassment
  • The exceptions to the principle of equality in higher education are too broad
  • Limitation of NGOs’ right to participate in legal proceedings to defend victims of discrimination
  • Limited damages payable in the event of discriminatory dismissal

Czech Republic

  • No definitions of the various types of discrimination
  • The physical scope of the discrimination ban is limited compared with the Directives
  • No ban on discrimination on grounds of disability, but on grounds of state of health, which does not necessarily cover all disabled workers

Letter of formal notice

Germany

  • The Anti-Discrimination Act does not cover dismissal
  • Deadline for lodging a complaint too short (2 months)
  • Limitation of NGOs’ right to participate in legal proceedings to defend victims of discrimination
  • The obligation to make reasonable accommodation applies only to severely disabled employees
  • The exception to the ban on age discrimination does not contain any of the conditions required by the Directive

Complementary letters of formal notice

Latvia

  • Definition of discrimination too restrictive
  • Exceptions to the ban on age discrimination too broad

Lithuania

  • Exception to the ban on age discrimination too

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