EurECCA position paper : ECJ Ryanair Judgement
« In disputes relating to their employment contracts, air crew members have the option of bringing proceedings before the courts of the place where they perform the essential part of their duties vis-à-vis their employer »
EurECCA has no doubt that this judgement will have an impact on the entire low cost segment of air transport as Ryanair will no longer be able to impose Irish labor law on aircrew working elsewhere in Europe and thus evade local labour laws and taxes.
Until now Ryanair argued that Irish labor law should apply to any cabin crew contract not taking into account « the place where the employee habitually carries out his work »
With this judgement, the Court points out « that, as regards disputes related to employment contracts, the European rules concerning jurisdiction are aimed at protecting the weaker party. Those rules enable inter alia an employee to sue his employer before the courts which he regards as closest to his interests, by giving him the option of bringing proceedings before the courts of the Member State in which the employer is domiciled or the courts of the place in which the employee habitually carries out his work. »
This ruling is clearly a significant victory for European cabin crew as the « Home Base » becomes a significant indicator to determine, in circumstances such as those at issue, the place from which the employee habitually carries out his work.