Bilka-Kaufhaus v Webers Von Hartz: ECJ 13 May 1986

ECJ An occupational pension scheme which, although established in accordance with statutory provisions, is based on an agreement between the employer and employee representatives constitutes an integral part of the contract of employ- ment and has the effect of supplementing the social benefits paid under national legislation of general application with benefits financed entirely by the employer does not constitute a social security scheme governed directly by statute and thus outside the scope of article 119, but is subject to that provision. Article 119 of the treaty is infringed by an undertaking which excludes part-time employees from its occupational pension scheme, where that exclusion affects a far greater number of women than men, unless the undertaking shows that the exclusion is based on objectively justified factors unrelated to any discrimination on grounds of sex. Such factors may lie in the fact that the undertaking seeks to employ as few part-time workers as possible, where it is shown that that objective corresponds to a real need on the part of the undertaking and the means chosen for achieving it are appropriate and necessary. Article 119 does not have the effect of requiring an employer to organize its occupational pension scheme in such a manner as to take into account the particular difficulties faced by persons with family responsibilities in meeting the conditions for entitlement to such a pension.
‘It is for the national court, which has sole jurisdiction to make findings of fact, to determine whether and to what extent the grounds put forward by an employer to explain the adoption of a pay practice which applies independently of a worker’s sex but in fact affects more women than men may be regarded as objectively justified economic grounds. If the national court finds that the measures chosen by Bilka correspond to a real need on the part of the undertaking, are appropriate with a view to achieving the objectives pursued and are necessary to that end, the fact that the measures affect a far greater number of women than men is not sufficient to show that they constitute an infringement of Article 119.’
[1986] ECR 1607, [1987] ICR 110, C-170/84, R-170/84, [1986] EUECJ R-170/84, [1984] IRLR 317
Bailii
EC Treaty 119
European
Citing:
See AlsoJ P Jenkins v Kingsgate (Clothing Productions) Ltd ECJ 31-Mar-1981
ECJ The fact that work paid at time rates is remunerated at an hourly rate which varies according to the number of hours worked per week does not offend against the principle of equal pay laid down in article 119 . .

Cited by:
FollowedBarton v Investec Henderson Crosthwaite Securities Ltd EAT 6-Mar-2003
EAT Sex Discrimination – Inferring Discrimination
The claimant sought compenstion for sex discrimination. She appealed a finding of a material factor justifying the difference in pay.
Held: The new . .
CitedBarry v Midland Bank Plc HL 22-Jul-1999
The defendant implemented a voluntary retirement scheme under which benefits were calculated according to the period of service of the employee. The plaintiff claimed that the scheme discriminated against workers who had taken career breaks, and . .
CitedHardys and Hansons Plc v Lax CA 7-Jul-2005
The issue of justification of discrimination is rarely a simple matter. No margin of appreciation was to be allowed to an employer. It is for the tribunal to make its own judgment as to whether the practice complained of by the employee was . .
CitedSharp v Caledonia Group Services Ltd EAT 1-Nov-2005
EAT Equal Pay Act – Material factor defence – In an equal pay claim involving a presumption of direct discrimination the genuine material factor defence requires justification by objective criteria.
The . .
CitedAzmi v Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council EAT 30-Mar-2007
The claimant alleged discrimination. As a teaching assistant, she had been refused permission to wear a veil when assisting a male teacher.
Held: Direct discrimination had not been shown. The respondent had shown that any comparator would have . .
CitedBlackburn and Another v West Midlands Police CA 6-Nov-2008
blackburn_wmpCA2008
The claimants, female police officers, complained that male officers had received priority payments where they had received none. The defendant said that the payments were justified in achieving a proper aim, namely the encouragement of night . .
CitedO’Hanlon v Revenue and Customs CA 30-Mar-2007
The claimant suffered depression, and complained that the respondent’s reduction in her pay after long periods of sickness was discriminatory. She appealed decisions that it was not. She said that a reasonable adjustment would have been to continue . .
CitedRolls Royce Plc v Unite the Union QBD 17-Oct-2008
The company had entered into collective agreements with the union governing criteria and procedures for redundancy selection. The company said that the criteria were not compliant with the age discrimination regulations.
Held: The union was . .
CitedAge UK, Regina (On the Application of) v Attorney General Admn 25-Sep-2009
Age UK challenged the implementation by the UK of the Directive insofar as it established a default retirement age (DRA) at 65.
Held: The claim failed. The decision to adopt a DRA was not a disproportionate way of giving effect to the social . .
CitedAyling v Summers and Others ChD 14-Sep-2009
ayling_summersChD2009
Letters of administration had been taken out, but it was subsequently discovered that the deceased, a seamen, may have made a nuncupative will which would be valid if made at sea. He had said: ‘You listen to me. If anything happens to me, I want . .
CitedArmstrong and others v Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Hospital Trust CA 21-Dec-2005
The claimants claimed equal pay, asserting use of particular comparators. The Trust said that there was a genuine material factor justifying the difference in pay.
Held: To constitute a single source for the purpose of article 141, it is not . .
CitedHomer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police SC 25-Apr-2012
The appellant had failed in his claim for indirect age discrimination. Approaching retirement, he complained that new conditions allowing advancement to graduates only, discriminated against him since he could not complete a degree before retiring. . .
CitedWalker v Innospec Ltd and Others SC 12-Jul-2017
The claimant appealed against refusal of his employer’s pension scheme trustees to include as a recipient of any death benefit his male civil partner.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The salary paid to Mr Walker throughout his working life was . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 24 February 2021; Ref: scu.133926