A concessionary fares scheme did not fall within the scope of sex discrimination laws. Equal treatment of men and women – Concessionary fares on public passenger transport services – Scope of Directive 79/7/EEC – Link with retirement age.
ECJ On a proper interpretation of Article 3(1) of Directive 79/7 on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, a scheme under which concessionary fares on public passenger transport services are granted to certain classes of persons, including certain elderly persons, does not fall within the scope of the Directive.
First, a benefit consisting of concessionary fares on public passenger transport services does not afford direct and effective protection against one of the risks listed in Article 3(1) and the fact that the recipient of a benefit is, as a matter of fact, because of his age, in one of the situations envisaged by that article does not suffice to bring that benefit as such within the scope of the Directive.
Secondly, it cannot be concluded from the fact that, besides referring to the field of social security, Article 1 of Directive 79/7 refers to other elements of social protection provided for in Article 3 and that Article 3(1)(a) refers to statutory schemes which provide protection against the risks listed, without specifying that those schemes must fall under social security, that the scope of the Directive extends to social protection as a whole, and consequently to measures such as the said concessionary fares. In view of the unequivocal terms of the title of Directive 79/7, the various recitals in its preamble and Article 1 thereof, which all state that the Directive is intended to ensure the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, the reference to other elements of social protection provided for in Article 3 cannot be interpreted otherwise than as referring to provisions concerning social assistance, which generally fall outside the area of social security but fall within the scope of the Directive pursuant to Article 3(1)(b) where they are intended to supplement or replace the schemes referred to in Article 3(1)(a).
G.C. Rodriguez Iglesias, P
Times 02-Aug-1996, C-228/94,  EUECJ C-228/94
Discrimination, European, Transport
Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.77938