Pregnancy Discrimination in the National Courts: Is There a Common EU Framework?

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As a case study this article compares how German and Dutch courts integrate the European equality framework within their national systems using pregnancy discrimination in the field of employment law. In the European Union (EU), the principle of non-discrimination is well developed and prohibits vertical as well as horizontal discrimination in order to foster substantive equality. Today, it is one of the key elements of the EU human rights policy and covers a wide range of protected grounds. As a result, national courts cannot ignore the EU equality framework. However, the reception of EU non-discrimination law still depends on the national legal and cultural background and, in particular, the response of the national courts to the European challenge to readdress national understandings of equality, which often focus on vertical relationships alone. This article evaluates how and to what extent the EU non-discrimination law framework has impacted on national approaches to pregnancy discrimination. It highlights the differences between two Member States and national influences on the application of the EU rules but also demonstrates the EU influence, which can promote the development of a coherent equality framework, though it may also hinder such a development
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-90
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 01/12/2014


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