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Global employment briefing: European Union, June 2017

  • Europe
  • Employment law


A round-up of recent EU employment law developments

Twelve month countdown to the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)

With only 12 months to go before the GDPR comes into force, there is no time to waste in understanding how it will affect your organisation and putting in place the measure necessary to achieve compliance by 25 May 2018. If your GDPR compliance project is not yet underway, now is the time to act given that organisations failing to comply can face fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is the greater.

Read our Countdown to Compliance summary here which includes key concepts and timelines.

EU Commission proposes new legislation on work-life balance

The EU Commission is proposing a Directive that will, if it becomes law, extend parental leave rights and introduce EU wide rights to carer's leave, paternity leave, and for parents to request flexible work arrangements. The Directive is unlikely to be approved before the UK leaves the EU but its influence might still be felt in the UK post-Brexit.

EU Court of Justice decides headscarf cases

The EU’s Court of Justice ruled in the cases of Achbita and Bougnaoui that it will not necessarily be discriminatory for an employer to have a consistently applied rule prohibiting the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign by customer-facing staff where the aim is to project an image of neutrality towards customers. Such a policy could still be unlawful if a tribunal considers it to be disproportionate. Caution is needed as the CJEU’s ruling sits uncomfortably with the previous decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Eweida.

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