Steenhorst-Neerings v Bestuur van de Bedrijfsvereniging voor Detailhandel, Ambachten en Huisvrouwen: ECJ 27 Oct 1993

Europa Community law does not preclude the application of a national rule of law according to which benefits for incapacity for work are payable no more than one year before the date of claim, in the case where an individual seeks to rely on rights conferred directly, with effect from 23 December 1984, by Article 4(1) of Council Directive 79/7/EEC concerning the prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex in matters of social security and where, on the date the claim for benefit was made, the Member State concerned had not yet properly transposed that provision into national law. A national rule restricting the retroactive effect of claims for benefits for incapacity for work does not seek to restrict the right of individuals to rely on Directive 79/7 before the national courts in proceedings against a Member State at fault but serves the requirements of sound administration, in particular as regards the possibility of ascertaining whether the claimant satisfied the conditions for eligibility and the need to determine the degree of incapacity, which may well vary over time, as well as the need to preserve financial equilibrium in a scheme in which claims submitted by insured persons in the course of a year must in principle be covered by the contributions collected during that same year. 2. A Member State may not maintain a provision which, according to its wording, gives rise to a discrimination between men and women within the meaning of Article 4(1) of Directive 79/7. If, however, despite that wording, the national courts consistently apply such a provision without distinction to women and men in the same situation, there is nothing to preclude the national courts from continuing to apply that provision in disputes before them in accordance with such case-law, which enables them to ensure that Article 4(1) of Directive 79/7 is given full effect for so long as the Member State has not yet adopted the legislation necessary to implement it in full. Consequently, Article 4(1) of Directive 79/7 does not preclude the application by the national courts of a legislative provision according to which only women forfeit their benefits for incapacity for work on being awarded a widow’ s pension, if that provision is consistently applied by the courts to widows and widowers alike where they suffer incapacity for work.


C-338/91, [1993] ECR 1-5475, [1993] EUECJ C-338/91, [1994] ECR I 5483




See AlsoJohnson v Chief Adjudication Officer ECJ 11-Jul-1991
ECJ 1. Article 2 of Council Directive 79/7/EEC, on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, must be interpreted as meaning that the . .

Cited by:

CitedMagorrian and Cunningham v Eastern Health and Social Services Board and Department of Health and Social Services ECJ 11-Dec-1997
Pension entitlements for part time workers discriminated against were to be re-calculated to allow for wrongful treatment since 1976
Europa Reference for a preliminary ruling: Office of the Industrial . .
CitedAutologic Holdings Plc and others v Commissioners of Inland Revenue HL 28-Jul-2005
Taxpayer companies challenged the way that the revenue restricted claims for group Corporation Tax relief for subsidiary companies in Europe. The issue was awaiting a decision of the European Court. The Revenue said that the claims now being made by . .
CitedWalker-Fox v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 29-Nov-2005
The claimant pensioner had moved to France. He sought to claim a retrospective winter fuel allowance claim. The government had eventually agreed to make payments to UK residents abroad.
Held: The claimant was deemed to have had knowledge of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, Discrimination, Benefits

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.160839