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Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Karin Weber von Hartz

[1986] IRLR 317

Case summary last updated at 17/02/2020 16:29 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Karin Weber von Hartz

P was excluded from the company pension scheme because she was a part time employee. She alleged that, since in reality this impacted disadvantageously on women, who make up the vast majority of part time employees. She brought her claim under art. 141 (Equal pay for equal work without discrimination between the sexes). The ECJ held that the practice of excluding part time workers was discriminatory where that exclusion affects a far greater number of women than men, unless the undertaking shows that the exclusion is based on objectively justified factors unrelated to any discrimination on grounds of sex. It can be justified by the desire of the company to discourage employees from working part time where it is found that the means chosen for achieving that objective answer a real need on the part of the undertaking, are appropriate with a view to achieve the objective in question and are necessary to that end. I.e. Article 141 applies as much to indirect discrimination as it does to direct discrimination. 

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