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European Equality Law Network

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

2016 Seminar – The meaning of racial and ethnic origin, Employment Equality Directive and people with psychosocial disabilities, Migration and discrimination, Pay transparency, Equal pay

On 25 November 2016 the annual legal seminar of the European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination (EELN) was organised. The seminar brought together 160 representatives of the European Commission, EU Member States governments, Equality Bodies, EU umbrella organisations, academics from across Europe, as well as members of the network itself.

The seminar kicked-off with a very inspirational keynote speech by Justice Baer of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. She gave her view on what she believes is needed from us all to keep the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe on the agenda of international institutions, governments, academics and a broad range of stakeholders in society. One of her key messages: go back to the basics of human rights protection and be concrete and focussed in your actions to demonstrate the added value of human rights based approaches.

The workshops of this years seminar covered the most prominent topics addressed by the EELN during its second year as joined gender and non-discrimination network. 

Workshop – update of European case law

The workshop discussed recent developments in the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) and the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’). The workshop focussed on the most important judgments of last year in the field of non-discrimination and equality.

Powerpoint presentation Mathias Möschel Workshop Update EU case law (PDF 238 kB)
Audio Mathias Möschel Workshop Update EU case law mp3 (24 min)
Powerpoint presentation Janneke Gerards Workshop Update EU case law (PDF 202 kB)
Summary EctHR cases Janneke Gerards (PDF 477 kB)
Audio Janneke Gerards Workshop Update EU case law mp3 (25 min)

Workshop - The meaning of racial and ethnic Origin in EU law

Powerpoint presentation Lilla Farkas Workshop racial origin (PDF 1.396 kB)
Audio Lilla Farkas Workshop racial origin mp3 (47 min)
Powerpoint presentation Sara Benedi-Lahuerta Workshop racial origin (PDF 510 kB)

Workshop – Links between migration and discrimination

Since the publication in 2009 of the report ‘Links between migration and discrimination’ authored by Olivier De Schutter for the European network of legal experts in the non-discrimination field, significant developments have taken place. In addition to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and to Croatia having joined the EU on 1 July 2013, there are new relevant decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights under the European Social Charter, new interpretation by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and developments in EU legislation on asylum. 

In view of these occurrences and national developments, Olivier De Schutter has written a new and up-to-date report on the link between migration and discrimination. The workshops explored the results and conclusion of the report.

Thematic report Links between migration and discrimination (PDF 1.729 kB)
Powerpoint presentation Olivier De Schutter Workshop Migration and discrimination (PDF 862 kB)
Audio Olivier De Schutter Workshop Migration and discrimination mp3 (50 min)

Workshop - The Employment Equality Directive and supporting people with psychosocial disabilities in the workplace

Although persons with psychosocial disabilities face difficulties in participating in employment, the Employment Equality Directive, EC/2000/78, and the UN Convention of Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) contribute to supporting them in their access to work. Analysis of the implementation of the UN CRPD, the Employment Equality Directive and related national law may provide further insight into to the extent to which psychosocial disability amounts or not to a disability for the purposes of non-discrimination law. Moreover, EU and national legislation on reasonable accommodation may be applicable to the types of adjustment most frequently arising for workers with psychosocial disabilities. The above mentioned issues are covered in a report for the network by Lisa Waddington and Mark Bell that will soon be published and have been discussed in the workshop.

Powerpoint presentation Mark Bell and Lisa Waddington Workshop EED and psychosocial disabilities (PDF 618 kB)
Audio Mark Bell Workshop EED and psychosocial disabilities mp3 (12 min)
Audio Lisa Waddington Workshop EED and psychosocial disabilities mp3 (35 min)

Workshop – Pay transparency

Pay transparency is essential for the effective application of the equal pay principle. Increased transparency can reveal a gender bias and discrimination in the pay structures of an undertaking or organisation. It enables employees, employers and social partners to take appropriate action to ensure implementation of the equal pay principle. 

To increase pay transparency the Commission adopted Recommendation C(2014) 1405 final, encouraging the Member States to implement at least one of the (four) core measures enhancing transparency set out in the Recommendation: 1) right of employees to obtain information on pay levels; 2) reporting on pay at company level; 3) pay audits at company level and 4) making equal pay, including pay audits, part of the collective bargaining process at the appropriate level.

The workshop discussed to what extent these core measures are implemented in the EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, based on a report by Albertine Veldman for the equality law network which will be published soon.

Powerpoint presentation Albertine Veldman (PDF 523 kB)
Audio Albertine Veldman mp3 (42 min)
Powerpoint Marlies Vegter Workshop Pay transparency PDF (1.299 kB)

Workshop – Equal pay – Sanctions, redress and compensation

In the 2010 report ‘The gender pay gap in Europe from a legal perspective’ of Petra Foubert for the European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality it was concluded that nearly all (then 27) EU Member States (and Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Norway) have a good legislative framework in place to address the gender pay gap. However, in practice there still exists a considerable gender pay gap. The workshop considered which means the legislative framework of the EU Member States and other countries covered by the equality law network provide for the enforcement of the equal pay principle, and what sanctions are available to seek redress for cases of pay discrimination. The discussions provided input for Petra Foubert who will write a report on this topic for the Network which will be published in the first half of 2017.

Powerpoint presentation Petra Foubert Workshop Equal pay (PDF 371 kB)
Paper Frances Meenan Workshop Equal pay (PDF 385 kB)
Audio Frances Meenan Workshop Equal pay mp3 (21 min)

 

 

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