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Equality at company level: The assessment of equal treatment regarding a specific benefit is determined at company level. In a case involving employees of a company within a group, they claimed the same benefit for the maintenance of their work clothes as employees of other companies in the group. The trial judges recognized unequal treatment within the group, only the employees of the company in question not having benefited from the assumption of responsibility for the maintenance costs  of  their work uniforms.

Assessing Equal Treatment: Firm Level Considerations: –

However, the Court of Cassation overturned this decision, emphasizing that the principle of equal treatment does not apply when the employees requesting a right or advantage do not belong to the company when these rights or advantages are recognized by collective agreement, customary or unilateral usage. employer ‘s commitment   .

Therefore, the persons involved in the case could not rely on unequal treatment to obtain the desired benefit.

The principle of equal treatment: contextual application and limits: –

The ruling underlines the principle that equal treatment depends on the specific company recognizing the right or benefit in question. It specifies that employees cannot claim equal treatment throughout the group if the advantage is not granted to employees within their respective company.

This legal interpretation highlights the importance of understanding the context and scope of equal treatment. Although equality is a fundamental principle, it must be applied within the appropriate organizational framework and the parameters defined by collective agreements, established customs or employer commitments.

The case illustrates the complexity of equal treatment in a group setting and the need to recognize distinctions based on specific company policies and agreements. Employers are expected to uphold these agreements and provide equal treatment to employees within their company while taking into account the unique circumstances and agreements of other group entities.

Understanding the nuances of equal treatment and its applicability at the corporate level ensures a fair and context-specific approach to employee benefits and rights. 

DAMY Law Firm .