November 22, 2019
The European Court of Justice has held that there is no provision in the applicable EU laws that require a member state to grant a worker a fixed working schedule when his or her normal pattern of hours has variable shifts, unless the worker is returning from parental leave.
The Court's ruling related to a Spanish law which did not require a worker on variable shift pattern to be granted a fixed working schedule to take care of his children, per BEERG's Global Labor Newsletter. The Spanish worker, who was employed on a rotating shift pattern across mornings, afternoons and evenings, requested to work exclusively on the morning team for the same number of hours as previously and for the same pay in order to take care of his children. His request was refused by his employer.
The Court ruled that the Spanish law did not conflict with the Framework Agreement on Parental Leave and Articles 23 and 33(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This only required member states and social partners to make adjustments to working schedules for workers returning from parental leave, which was not the case in this instance.