European Court of Justice opinion on carers’ workplace rights delayed

A crucial European legal opinion that could dramatically increase the workplace rights of carers has been delayed.

The Advocate General, one of the European Union’s senior legal experts, was due to give his opinion on a landmark case on the rights of carers last week before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Attridge Law v Coleman concerns the claim of a single mother of a five-year-old disabled boy.

Coleman claims she was discriminated against, contrary to the Disability Discrimination Act, because she is her son’s primary carer.

If successful, the case would introduce “associative” protection to all carers of disabled and elderly people from workplace discrimination, based on their caring responsibilities.

At the moment, carers only have the right to request flexible working.

However, the legal opinion has now been postponed until 31 January.

The case will be determined by the ECJ later this year, but the Advocate General’s opinion is influential and likely to be followed by the court.

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