08 November 2018
The European Court of Justice has held that the heir of a worker who dies while in an employment relationship with a public or private employer has a right to financial compensation in lieu of the worker’s untaken paid annual leave.
In the case, Wuppertal v Bauer and Willmeroth Broßonn the European Court of Justice (CJEU) held that the Working Time Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms grants that heir the right to financial compensation.
It also held that the relevant EU laws had a vertical direct effect, so that incompatible national law would be disapplied in a dispute between a public employer and an individual.
However, Article 7 of the Working Time Directive did not have horizontal direct effect so as to disapply incompatible national law in a dispute between an individual and a private employer. That can be contrasted with Article 31(2) of the Charter, which did have horizontal direct effect so as to disapply incompatible national law in a dispute between an individual and a private employer. The Article reflected the essential principle of EU social law of the right to paid annual leave
With thanks to Daniel Barnett's Employment Law Bulletin for its coverage of this case.