Gabrielle Defrenne v Belgian State: ECJ 25 May 1971

ECJ The concept of pay as defined in article 119 of the EEC Treaty does not include social security schemes or benefits directly governed by legislation without any element of agreement within the undertaking or the occupational branch concerned, which are obligatorily applicable to general categories of workers or which, within the framework of such a general system established by legislation, relate to certain categories of workers in particular.
This applies especially to retirement pension schemes which give workers the benefit of a legal system, the financing of which, workers, employers and possibly the public authorities contribute in a measure determined less by the employment relationship between the employer and the worker than by considerations of social policy. The part due from the employer in the financing of such schemes does not constitute a direct or indirect payment to the worker; the latter receives the benefits legally prescribed solely by reason of the fact that he fulfils the legal conditions required for their being granted.
Situations involving discrimination resulting from the application of such a scheme are not subject to the requirements of article 119.


C-80/70, R-80/70, [1971] EUECJ R-80/70, [1974] 1 CMLR 494, [1971] ECR 445





Cited by:

See AlsoDefrenne v Sabena (No 2) ECJ 8-Apr-1976
ECJ The principle that men and women should receive equal pay, which is laid down by article 119, is one of the foundations of the community. It may be relied on before the national courts. These courts have a . .
see alsoDefrenne v Sabena Airlines ECJ 15-Jun-1978
LMA Ms Defrenne was an air hostess employed by SABENA, a Belgian airline company. She brought an action against the airline based on Art.119 [now141] EC. Ms Defrenne claimed that in paying their male stewards . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Benefits

Updated: 16 August 2022; Ref: scu.214131