Evolution of ECJ Case Law on Age Discrimination
By Robin Allen QC
1. It is a great pleasure to be invited to speak at this conference on recent developments in EU Anti – discrimination law and to focus on the evolution of ECJ case law on age.
2. The main focus of my paper will be on the position after the implementation of the Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (“Directive 2000/78/EC”). However I must start by recalling that the ECJ has had to consider age as a component of employment policy in other contexts before that. One key context is pensions where men and women have been eligible for state and other pensions from different ages.
3. Within Europe it has always recognised that there are limitations to the extent to which, and the speed at which, pension policy differences for men and women can be equalised. Thus the EEC made a special derogation in Article 7(1)(a) of Directive 79/7/EEC of 19 December 1978 on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security.
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