Equal treatment between women and men is a fundamental right, a general
principle of EU la w. In Eur opean Court of Justice case-law and in Eur opean law were
treated different aspects of discr imination on grounds of sex. P rinciple of equa l treatment
between women and men applies to remuneration, access to employment, vocationa l
training a nd pr omotion, and working condition s, but it is equally applied to dismissal.
Among the issues covered by Europea n law on equal treatment between women and men, in
this article I will examine only the European Cour t of Justice case-law on dismissal.
Keywords: Dismissal, non-discrimination, equ al opportunities, European la w,
JEL Classification: K41, K42
1. The concept of dismissal
Article 23 of Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union states
that equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas. So, equality
between men and women is a fundamental human right in European Union.
One of the duties of Court of Justice of the European Union is to ensure
respect for human rights2.
Article 5 para.1 of Directive 76/207 provides for the principle of equal
treatment with regard to working conditions, including the conditions governing
dismissal, means that men and women shall be guaranteed the same conditions
without discrimination on grounds of sex. The scope of Directive 2000/78 contains,
inter alia, the conditions for dismissal3.
As regards the scope of the principle of equal treatment between men and
women the Court held that it has general application and shall also apply to the
No less, the principle of equal treatment between men and women should
be applied to the EU institutions workers5.
1 Ctlina-Adriana Ivnuş - Institute for Doctoral S tudies, Law Department, Bucharest University of
Economic Studies, Romania, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Judgment of 15 June 1978, Defrenne / Sabena (149/77, ECR 1978 p. 1365), Judgment of 20 March
1984, Razzouk and others / Commission (75 and 117/82, ECR 1984 p. 1509).
3 Art. 3 (1) (c) of Directive 2000/78.
4 Judgment of 26 October 1999, Sirdar (C-273/97, ECR 1999 p. I-7403), Judgment of 11 January
2000, Kreil (C-285/98, ECR 2000 p. I-69), Judgment of 19 M arch 2002, Lommers (C-476/99, ECR
2002 p. I-2891).
5 Judgment of 20 March 1984, Razzouk and others / Commission (75 and 117/82, ECR 1984