Instantie: Conclusie Advocaat-Generaal Elmer, 30 september 1997


Conclusie Advocaat-Generaal Elmer


Het verstrekken van gereduceerd treinvervoer aan de samenwonende partner
van de werknemer mits deze van de andere sekse is als de werknemer zelf,
is een direct onderscheid naar sekse in de beloningsvoorwaarden. Indien
zou worden verondersteld dat het een indirect sekse-onderscheid is, dan
kan dit niet gerechtvaardigd worden door het feit dat de werkgever homoseksuele
samenwonenden anders wil behandelen dan heteroseksuele samenwonenden.

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49. In its observations the United Kingdom requested the Court to limit
the temporal effect of the judgment if the questions referred to it are
answered in het affirmative. The United Kingdom did not repeat that request
at the hearing and has not produced evidence to show that in this case
there is a need for temporal effect to be restricted. In my view a judgment
that followed my Opinion would not depart from the Court’s case-law hitherto
and would also be founded on its facts.
I do not see any reason for laying down any temporal restriction on the
effect of the judgment.


50. In the light of the foregoing, I would suggest that the Court reply
to the questions referred by the Industrial Tribunal, Southampton, as follows:

(1) A provision in an employer’s pay regulations under which the employee
is granted a pay benefit in the form of travel concessions for the cohabitee
of the opposite gender to the employee, but refused such concessions for
a cohabitee of the same gender as the employee, constitutes discrimination
on the basis of gender, which is contrary to Article 119 of the EC Treaty.

(2) Such discrimination on the basis of gender cannot be justified by reference
to the fact that the employer’s intention is to confer benefits on heterosexual
couples as opposed to homosexual couples.

(3) Article 119 of the EC Treaty is directly applicable and it is for the
national courts to ensure that the disadvantaged group of employees is
treated in the same way as the favoured group.


Michael B. Elmer