European Union Law: Sex Discrimination, Free movement of goods

| December 31, 2015

– 2,400 words maximum (1,200 words for each question answered plus or minus 10%)
– A bibliography must be given at the end and any other sources acknowledged. References should be given at the bottom of each page as footnotes.
Two questions must be answered:
Tina and Martin are both employed in the personnel department of Financial Services Ltd as personnel assistants. They both started working for the company at the same time but after five years Martin is paid more than Tina even though they work for the same number of hours. Also Martin receives more days holiday per year than Tina. Tina is arguing that she should receive the same pay and holiday as Martin.

Susan is employed in the secretarial department. She has discovered that her pay (and that of other secretarial staff) is about half of that received by staff in the marketing department, all of whose members are male. She has complained that this difference in pay amounts to sex discrimination and that she should be paid the same salary as the marketing staff.

Rachel works part-time in the personnel department. Most of the staff employed part-time in the department are female. Rachel has complained that part-time staff are excluded from the company’s sick pay and occupational pension schemes. She complained about this but was told that it was too costly and therefore not financially viable to include part time staff in the schemes. Rachel is arguing that this exclusion amounts to sex discrimination.

Rita and Tom both applied for a job in the sales department. They were both equally qualified and experienced but the job was offered to Tom. Rita was told “the sales job requires long hours and a lot of stamina, we do not think it is a job for a woman”.
Rita is arguing that she has been a victim of sex discrimination.

Advise Tina, Susan, Rachel and Rita on the basis whereby EU law on sex discrimination (Art 157 TFEU) can be argued to the above events and critically assess whether each could be successful in actions against the company for sex discrimination

Brewmaster plc is a company based in the UK that produces beers and soft drinks. It has recently experienced the following issues in relation to trading its products within the EU:

(a) Belgium requires that beers sold within the country comply with Belgian labelling rules. All Belgian beers comply with this, but Brewmaster’s beers do not. Brewmaster argue that this is unfair as it would be too costly to label their beers differently for Belgium. Belgium also requires that the labelling states a health warning. Brewmaster’s beers do not include this. As a result of these requirements Brewmaster are prevented from selling their beers in Belgium.

(b) Bewmaster would like to sell its soft drinks in Germany. The German authorities state that Bremaster’s soft drinks contain additives which are prohibited in Germany which has banned all imports that contain the additives. Bewmaster argue that their soft drinks are accepted elsewhere in the EU and therefore should be accepted in Germany.

(c) Recently, due to high alcohol consumption in Sweden the Swedish authorities have introduced a law that restricts the advertising of alcoholic drinks. This has made it more difficult for Brewmaster to promote their beers in Sweden causing them to lose market share in favour of national brewers.

Critically discuss how EU law on the free movement of goods (as applied by Articles 34 and 36 TFEU and relevant case law) can be applied to the above events and advise Brewmaster on whether the restrictions they have encountered are likely to be in breach of EU Law.

Category: Essay

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