EU Sources - Important ruling on fixed-term contracts - September 30, 2016

The ECJ has dealt with a case of a nurse, who has worked at the University Hospital of Madrid from 5 February 2009 to 31 July 2013. The reason given for her appointment was to ‘provide certain services of a temporary, auxiliary or extraordinary nature’. The appointment was renewed seven times under identically types of fixed-term contracts. She brought an appeal against the decision to terminate her employment relationship. She argued that her successive appointments were not intended to meet an auxiliary or extraordinary need of the health services, but in fact corresponded to a permanent activity. In this landmark ruling (Case C-16/15) the Court finds that EU law –in particular Council Directive 1999/70/EC of 28 June 1999 concerning the framework agreement on fixed-term work concluded by ETUC, UNICE and CEEP - precludes national legislation which allows the renewal of fixed-term contracts to cover temporary staff needs, when those needs are, in fact, permanent.

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For more information, please contact the editor Jan Cremers, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) or the communications officer at the ETUI, Willy De Backer For previous issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit Since June 2013 readers can consult our archive and search through all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.euYou may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at

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