In Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the Equal Treatment Directive does not apply to job applicants who are purely seeking compensation. It will only apply where the applicant is also seeking recruitment and employment.

Mr Kratzer had applied for a role as a graduate trainee, but when his application was rejected he claimed that he had been discriminated against because of his age. The Company informed him that the rejection was an error and invited him for interview. He refused this offer and instead made an age discrimination claim to the German Labour Court. A further claim of sex discrimination was added when Mr Kratzer learned that all of the roles had been given to female applicants. His claims were dismissed.

This decision is in line with similar domestic cases, where it was held that there was no discrimination when a person was not offered a role that they did not have a genuine interest in (Keane v Investigo & Others UKEAT/0389/09/SM).

Section 39 of the Equality Act 2010 protects employees and applicants from discrimination in recruitment:

  • In the arrangements an employer makes for deciding to whom to offer employment
  • As to the terms on which an employer offers a person employment
  • By not offering a person employment

Employers should not take into consideration discriminatory factors in the recruitment process, and where they do, this may give rise to a breach of the Equality Act and therefore a discrimination claim.

Prospective job applicants should not be worried – this ruling does not seek to reduce the protection applicants for roles have from discrimination. It seeks only to ensure that only genuine applicants receive the protection of employment law, and not those who are seeking compensation only.

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, or if you have any other questions about your employment rights, then we can help. Here at Beecham Peacock we have a trusted relationship with some of the largest trade unions in the country to protect your working rights. For further information call us on 0191 232 3048 or email

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