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Pregnancy discrimination: Annual and maternity leave mutually exclusive

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    Merino Gómez v Continental Industrias del Caucho SA [2004] IRLR 407 ECJ (0 other reports)

Key Points

In Merino Gomez v Continental Industrias del Caucho SA, the European Court of Justice holds:

  • Pregnant workers have a dual entitlement to annual leave and maternity leave; the effect of the Working Time, Pregnant Workers and Equal Treatment Directives means that pregnant workers must be able to take their annual leave during a period other than their period of maternity leave.
  • This includes cases in which the period of maternity leave coincides with the general period of annual leave fixed by a collective agreement for the entire workforce.
  • In the present case therefore, the pregnant worker was entitled to take her annual leave immediately after her period of maternity leave.
  • Where national law provided for a longer period of annual leave than the minimum of four weeks' paid leave provided for by the Working Time Directive, the Pregnant Workers Directive applied to extend entitlement of a pregnant worker to the longer period of annual leave.