Vacation jobs do not give rise to an end-of-contract payment

A student employed during his vacation sued the company where he was employed under a fixed-term contract to obtain an end-of-contract payment.

Under French law, the employees employed under a fixed-term contract are granted such a payment intended to compensate for insecurity. However, such a payment is not made for young people working during their vacations.

The student considered that such provisions were in contradiction with the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination on grounds of age. After having obtained the position of the Conseil Constitutionnel in France, his case was referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling.

The ECJ ruled that “the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of age, enshrined in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and given specific expression by Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, under which an end-of-contract payment, paid in addition to an employee’s salary on the expiry of a fixed-term employment contract where the contractual relationship is not continued in the form of a contract for an indefinite period, is not payable in the event that the contract is concluded with a young person for a period during his school holidays or university vacation” (ECJ 14 Oct. 2015, C‑432/14).