February 3, 2009 - News about the firm

Mannheimer Swartling client wins discrimination case in the Swedish Labour Court

In a fundamentally important discrimination case, the Swedish Labour Court ruled in favour of one of Mannheimer Swartling’s clients.

The Discrimination Ombudsman (DO), previously known as the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman, claimed that a company had discriminated against a pregnant woman with a pregnancy benefit, since the company had not compensated her for loss of salary. The Labour Court did not consider that the investigation showed that the woman suffered from an illness for which she was entitled to receive a sickness benefit. The woman was considered to have been off duty, which cannot be compared with the situation where an employee is off sick with a sickness benefit. As a result, the Labour Court did not consider that the woman had been discriminated against by the company which had not compensated her for loss of salary.

DO also claimed that the woman had been treated unfairly in conflict with the Parental Leave Act, since she had not received pension premiums during her parental leave. Nor was the company considered to have contravened the prohibition of treating employees unfairly contained in the Parental Leave Act by neglecting to pay the pension premiums. The Labour Court made the assessment that the provisions for retirement pension insurance should be considered a form of salary. It is therefore a necessary consequence for employees on parental leave that they will not only lose the direct salary from the employer but also salary benefits in the form of provisions for retirement pension insurance. The action was thus dismissed in its entirety.

Mannheimer Swartling was representing the company through Magnus Wallander, Jenny Welander Wadström and Lena Wåglöf.