European Employment Law Update — January 2014: Denmark

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The Danish Supreme Court has held that it was not contrary to the Employment Directive for a company to dismiss a young worker for reaching the age of 18. The discrimination in relation to pay and dismissal had the legitimate aim of promoting the integration of young people into the labour market. The judgment establishes that the right under section 5a(5) of the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act (forskelsbehandlingsloven) that allows employers to treat young people under the age of 18 differently is not contrary to article 6(1) of the Employment Directive.

In accordance with the current collective agreement and section 5a(5) of the Anti-Discrimination Act, a service employee (M) was dismissed because M reached the age of 18.

M’s trade union sued both the company (C) and the Danish Ministry of Employment, claiming that the dismissal of M was contrary to article 6 of the Employment Directive….

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