Positive European judgement - pregnant women and benefits

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered judgment in the case of Jessy Saint Prix on 19 June 2014. The SLF grant funded The AIRE Centre, which was bringing a third party intervention in the case, to enable its legal team to travel to the CJEU to make submissions in court.

The case focussed on the position of EU citizens who temporarily stop working in the late stages of pregnancy in order to have their baby and benefit entitlements. The particular issue for Ms. Saint Prix was whether she remained a 'worker' under EU law during that period.

The judgement means that an EU national, who has not yet obtained permanent residence, who gives up work in the late stages of pregnancy, will be entitled to claim income support if they are on a low income. It also put the rights of EU nationals on a par with British women who are entitled to income support in the late stages of pregnancy and the aftermath of childbirth. The judgment should ensure that pregnant women are no longer discriminated against, or deprived of the basic protection to which they are entitled, in the exercise of their freedom of movement as EU workers. This is a very important ruling as it protects pregnant women and those with young children from becoming destitute.

For further detail about the case and the judgement see The AIRE Centre's Note

To read counsel's note on the judgement click here.

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