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Equal pay: Refusing to pay Christmas bonus to women on parental leave may not be discriminatory

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Lewen v Denda [2000] IRLR 67 ECJ (1 other report)

    • Bonus paid during parental leave

      1 December 1999

      In Lewen v Denda the European Court of Justice has ruled that whether an employee on parental leave is entitled under Article 119 of the EC Treaty (now Article 141) to a Christmas bonus depends on whether it is properly seen as pay for work performed or whether it is to encourage those in active employment to work hard in forthcoming months.

In Lewen v Denda [2000] IRLR 67, the European Court of Justice rules that, where a bonus that is paid voluntarily as an exceptional allowance at Christmas is awarded retroactively as pay for work done, an employer is precluded by Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome from excluding female workers on parental leave entirely from the benefit of the bonus, without taking account of the work done. But an employer may lawfully refuse to pay such a bonus to a woman on parental leave where that payment is subject only to her being in active employment.