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Equal pay: Limitation of right to retroactive membership of pension scheme is contrary to Community law

This report relates to 2 case(s)

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    Fletcher and others v Midland Bank plc [2000] IRLR 506 ECJ (0 other reports)

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    Preston and others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and others [2000] IRLR 506 ECJ (2 other reports)

    • ECJ rules in favour of part-timers' pension rights

      Date:
      1 July 2000

      In Preston and others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and others (16 May 2000) EOR92A, the European Court of Justice rules that s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act, which provides that a claimant's entitlement to join an occupational pension scheme is limited to a period which starts to run two years prior to the commencement of equal pay proceedings in connection with the claim, contravenes European Community law.

    • In court 1999

      Date:
      1 January 2000

      Our 10th annual round-up of court and tribunal cases concerning pensions and retirement issues encompasses 38 judgments. Last year saw some important decisions, but fewer cases overall than in recent years.

Community law precludes a national procedural rule which provides that a claimant's pensionable service is to be calculated only by reference to service after a date falling no earlier than two years prior to the date of the claim, rules the European Court of Justice in Preston and others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and others and Fletcher and others v Midland Bank plc 16.5.00 Case C-78/98. However, Community law does not preclude a national procedural rule which requires that a claim for membership of an occupational pension scheme (from which the right to pension benefits flows) must, if it is not to be time-barred, be brought within six months of the end of the employment to which the claim relates, provided that that limitation period is not less favourable for actions based on Community law than for those based on domestic law.