An experienced lawyer who applied for a trainee position at an
insurance firm purely to make an age discrimination claim has had
his claim thrown out as an abuse of process.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has turned down the
claim in a move which could be persuasive on Jersey's
Employment Tribunal, because the law in Germany – where the
claim was first made – is based on the same EU Directive as
the UK law. The Jersey discrimination law is heavily modelled on
the UK law.
Ogier employment and discrimination lawyer Daniel Read said that
the ruling by the EU court could influence the local tribunal if
they were faced with what they thought was someone abusing the
discrimination law by applying for a job they had no interest in,
just to claim that they had been discriminated against.
The original case concerned Nils-Johannes Kratzer, who sued
insurance firm R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG when his application
for a trainee position was turned down. The company said that they
had advertised for a trainee, and that as a lawyer of 15 years'
experience, Mr Kratzer was not a suitable candidate.
The EU court has held that Mr Kratzer was not serious about
applying for the job, and that instead, he was simply applying to
be able to claim the status of an applicant, and to be able to make
a claim under German discrimination law. They ruled that his
intentions meant that he could not claim the protection that a
genuine job applicant has under the discrimination law.
Dan, a senior associate at Ogier, said: "It is a concern if
people are abusing a law which was put in place for the serious
purpose of protecting people from discrimination and being abused
because of their gender, age, sexuality or race.
"Fortunately, we have seen little evidence of this in
Jersey since the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 came into force
in September 2015.
"Although this is an EU court decision, it is one that the
tribunal would be able to take account of in the event that a
frivolous application for employment was made here, just to set up
a claim under our discrimination legislation."
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).