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Free Movement Of Workers Notes

Irish BCL Notes > Irish European Union Law Notes

This is an extract of our Free Movement Of Workers document, which we sell as part of our Irish European Union Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Trinity College Dublin students.

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Definition of Worker Article 39EC: Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured within the Community. Abolition of any discrimination based on nationality [as regards] employment, remuneration and other conditions. Right to: (i) accept offers of employment, (ii) move freely within MS for this purpose, (iii)stay in MS for employment, (iv) remain in MS after employment Exception for Public Services Roman Angonese (ECJ 1998) Facts

* The reference arose out of a case where an Italian national challenged an Italian law which made possession of a certificate of proficiency in Italian and German a prerequisite for a job in a regional public service.

* It was a fact that it was difficult for people who were not residents of that region to obtain a certificate. Issue

* Free Movement of Workers Judgment

* As Article 39 is drafted on general terms it applies not only to public authorities but also to rules of any other nature aimed at collectively regulating employment
- this ties in with the nature of employment regulation which is a combination of governmental and private regulation.

* Since it is difficult for people outside the province in question to obtain a certificate and the majority of its residents are Italian nationals, nationals of other Member States are subject to discrimination.

* This is so regardless of the fact that it does not confer an advantage on all Italians, nor does confer a disadvantage only on non-Italians.

* This measure can only be permissible if it were based on objective factors unrelated to nationality and constituted means proportionate to a legitimate aim being pursued.

* The requirement that the applicant speak a certain language is a legitimate justification but the fact that he must use the specific Certificate to establish his proficiency is not. Hoekstra (ECJ 1963) Issue

* Worker - Definition Judgment

* The fact that the Treaty contains Articles which deal with the free movement of workers give the Community competence to deal with their definition.

* Allowing Member States to define 'worker' would allow them to circumvent the Treaty's provisions.

* The term 'worker' is not confined to people who are actually in employment (e.g. it refers to a right to remain in the State after their employment has expired)

* Social security benefits available to domestic citizens whose employment has

expired and who are capable of finding work again must also be available to 'workers' from other Member States. Levin (ECJ 1981) Facts

* The reference arose out of case where Ms. Levin was refused permission to reside in the Netherlands as she was not engaged in a gainful employment there. Issue

* Worker - Earning less than support level - Supplemented income Judgment

* The definition of worker cannot depend on minimum income levels or hours worked in national legislation, as these criteria can be used to undermine the objectives of the Treaty by preventing a uniform standard across the Community.

* The Treaty guarantees free movement for workers regardless of whether they are permanent, seasonal or frontier workers or workers for the purposes of providing services.

* As the purpose of the provisions in question is to raise the standard of living of Community nationals by ensuring harmonious economic development, then parttime work, as a means of raising one's standard of living can be a legitimate source of employment for a 'worker'

* However, if this employment is purely marginal and ancillary, the person thus employed will not be a worker - once they are engaged in a genuine economic activity however, they must be given freedom to travel. Steymann (ECJ 1987) Facts

* The reference arose out of a case where a German national was refused a residence permit by the Dutch authorities, as they did not view him as a 'worker' due to his employment consisting of plumbing for the communal religious community in which he was involved. Issue

* Worker - Genuine Economic Activity Judgment

* In this case the members of the religious community must work in exchange for provision for their material needs - this is an indirect quid pro quo situation.

* As the national court has held that the work done was genuine and effective, it does constitute a genuine economic activity. Raulin (ECJ 1989) Facts

* The reference arose from a case where a French national was refused a residency permit by the Dutch authorities despite the fact that she worked as an on-call waitress for a very limited number of hours during her stay. Issue

* Worker - Marginal and ancillary work Judgment

* The essential characteristic of employment is the performance of services under the direction of the employee in exchange for remuneration - the legal nature of

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