Discrimination of a Job Applicant

A Job Applicants claim for compensation

In a recent case decided by the European Court of Justice the tricky issue of discrimination of job applicants was considered and a helpful decision for employers.

The Law

European Law in the form of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive and Equal Treatment Directive provides protection for employees and job applicants from discrimination because of one of the protected characteristics.

Age
Disability
Religion or belief
Sexual orientation
Sex
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and maternity
Gender reassignment

In the UK the Equality Act 2010 implements both Directives.

The Facts

This involves a case that originated in the German Courts.

The Employer R + V Allgemeine Versicherung AG (AV) wanted to recruit graduate trainees in various disciplines and advertised for applicants who had recently completed or were due to complete their degrees in relevant subjects.

Mr Kratzer applied for a trainee position but was unsuccessful. Two months after the decision not to progress his application Mr Kratzer wrote to AV complaining of age discrimination and demanding compensation of 14,000 euros.

AV subsequently invited Mr Kratzer to an interview but he refused to attend stating that he wanted compensation first before considering if he wanted to work for AV.

Mr Kratzer then made a claim for age and sex discrimination in the local labour court. His claim was unsuccessful at first instance and when he appealed the Federal Labour Court referred the case to the European Court of Justice.

The Decision

The European Court of Justice decided that Mr Kratzer’s application was not made in order that he could obtain employment, but rather his intention was to obtain compensation and therefore he did not fall within the scope and intention of the protection of EU law. The purpose of the Equal Treatment Directives is to protect people from discrimination who genuinely want to obtain employment.

Points to note

This case highlights that those people who have no intention of trying to obtain employment are not entitled to compensation if they apply for a job, are unsuccessful and allege that the reason is because of one of the protected characteristics.

Action to take

  1. Ensure that your recruitment process and advertisements comply with the Equality Act;
  2. Ensure that whoever is dealing with the recruitment process has had some equality and diversity training;
  3. If you suspect that someone has applied for the job role merely to make a claim for compensation then you should seek advice as soon as possible.

You can contact me on 01983 897003 or 023 8098 2006 for a no-obligation confidential discussion.

Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG – European Court of Justice

Please remember getting advice from a Solicitor does not have to be complicated or expensive.


 

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The information contained in this blog post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time it is written. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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