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European Equality Law Network

European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination


Gender equality in employment: maternity protection

On 9 March 2015, the Labour Tribunal of Mons and Charleroi ruled that the lay-off of an employee suffering from multiple sclerosis constituted direct discrimination and violated the obligation of reasonable accommodation. It convicted the defendant to pay 17.319,48 euro compensation for damages corresponding to six months’ salary.

On 18 May 2015, the Labour Tribunal of Brussels ruled that the prohibition to wear the headscarf at work did not constitute discrimination on the ground of religion or belief. The Labour Tribunal referred to previous similar decisions of the Labour Courts of Appeal of Brussels and Antwerp.

On 17 March 2015, the Labour Tribunal of Antwerp ruled that an employer who sent offensive emails on the religion of his employee did not discriminate against him. According to the Tribunal, the applicant failed to prove that he had been treated differently from the other employees because of the offensive emails.

Gender equality in access to good and services

The Appeal Court of Brussels condemned the temporary work agency “Adecco” for discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin

Gender equality in access to good and services

Date: 16 April 2015. Topics

On 9th March 2015, the Belgian Court of cassation decided to submit a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the compliance of the prohibition to wear the headscarf at work (private company) with the Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 (direct discrimination)

The Council of States cancelled internal regulations of schools prohibiting the wearing of any conspicuous philosophical signs because this prohibition was not necessary in a democratic society
The Council of State (administrative section) is not competent to rule on an action for annulment against an Administrative Circular prohibiting the wearing of any conspicuous philosophical signs at school because the Circular is an internal measure and does not directly affect the pupils and the teachers
On 16 July 2014, the Court of First Instance of Brussels convicted a press agent and its company for having discriminated a disabled journalist who is in a wheelchair

State of affairs 01 January 2014

Date: 20 November 2014. Topics
On 26 February 2014, the Court of First Instance of Brussels (Criminal section) convicted eleven former police officers for acts of violence against vulnerable persons
On 24 May 2014, a gunman opened fire at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and killed four people.
By a judgment of 6 March 2014, the Labour Court of Brussels dismissed an injunction procedure related to a discriminatory practice in employment because the practice has already ceased and there was no risk of repetition of such a practice
Adoption of Acts approving the Cooperation Agreement of 12 June 2013 that turns the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism into an inter-federal Centre
On 27th March 2014, conviction by the Criminal Court of Liège for assassination with the aggravating circumstance of homophobic intent
On 7 February 2014, the Criminal Court (Tribunal correctionnel) of Dendermonde convicted members of the Flemish Right-wing extremist group called “Bloed, Bodem, Eer and Trouw” for Holocaust denial, and incitement to discrimination and to hatred, violence or segregation against a person or against a group, a community or its members and especially the Jewish community
Despite several improvements made by Belgium, ECRI underlined some deficiencies of Belgian policies in the field of legislative issues, hate speech, violence, and integration policies.
The Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and Discrimination in collaboration with the Federal Minister for Equal Opportunities, the three regional housing Ministers and the Gender Institute presented the diversity Barometer in housing
On 5 February 2014, the Council of State held that the function of religion teacher - active in public schools - inherently holds personal religious beliefs as well as religious symbols for some of them. Thus, they should be authorized to wear religious symbols not only inside the classroom but also outside of the classroom.
On 10 December 2013, the Labour Court of Bruges (Flanders) convicted an IT store manager for direct discrimination against a prospective employee based on congenital hand deformities.

Go to the website of Human European Consultancy
Go to the website of Utrecht University
Go to the website of the Migration Policy Group

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