Amram on Maternity Leave & Surrogacy: The Impact of EU Law

AmramHuman Rights in Ireland welcomes this guest post from Dr Denise Amram. Denise is a qualified Italian solicitor and is currently a visiting postdoctoral researcher at the Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin.

Surrogacy is a sensitive issue, involving ethical, sociological, medical, and legal issues. The growing interest in this form of assisted reproduction has not spared the rise of legal issues related to the recognition of rights to people undertaking surrogacy.

Last Thursday two different Opinions were delivered by two Advocates General (AG) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) about the possibility for the intended mothers to access to maternity leave.

Both the Opinions may affect Court’s decisions respectively on Case C-363/12 and on the Case-167/12, and –consequently- EU Member States approaches on dealing with surrogacy matters and employment issues.

The first Opinion, delivered by AG Wahl, concerns an Irish woman  (Z) who arranged for surrogacy because of a rare condition by which she could not support a pregnancy even if her ovaries were healthy. During the surrogate’s pregnancy, her employer granted her just the unpaid leave, refusing her the maternity one. She asked the Equality Tribunal to verify whether or not such refusal constitutes discrimination on grounds of sex, family status and disability.

The second Opinion, delivered by AG Kokkot, relates to a British woman (C.D.) who arranged for surrogacy and asked a maternity leave. Her request was firstly refused, and then granted by her employer. However, since C.D. intended to have a further child by a surrogate mother, she decided to claim against the original refusal of her application before the Employment Tribunal, complaining discrimination on the grounds of sex and/or pregnancy and motherhood. Continue reading “Amram on Maternity Leave & Surrogacy: The Impact of EU Law”

Amram on Maternity Leave & Surrogacy: The Impact of EU Law