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Parliamentary questions
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23 January 2015
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-008556/2014

1. Case C-527/13, Cachaldora Fernández, concerns the interpretation of Directive 79/7 on sex equality in matters of social security(1) in view of a specific provision of the Spanish legislation on the calculation of the invalidity pension for employees who worked both full-time and part-time during different parts of their working lives. As the Court has not ruled yet on this case, the Commission cannot yet take any action to enforce the future judgment. The Commission will consider appropriate follow-up measures once the ruling is issued.

2. Voluntary forms of part-time work can be beneficial to workers. Apart from the often cited cases of caring obligations, there are notably many students and persons recovering from long-term illness, therefore not available for full-time work, who would be penalised by measures ‘discouraging’ part-time work. Part-time workers should benefit from decent working conditions and should not suffer unjustified discrimination when compared to full-time workers. These are the objectives of the EU Directive 97/81/EC on part-time work(2).

3. With this regard, the Commission published a study on the Gender Gap in Pensions in 2013, which showed that pensions systems, far from being neutral, may add new disadvantages for women. As a follow-up, the Commission, in cooperation with Member States, intends to highlight gender gaps in the 2015 Pension Adequacy Report. Also, the Advisory Committee on equal opportunities for women and men published an opinion on reducing the gender gap in pensions(3).

(1)Directive 79/7/EEC of 19.12.1978 on the progressive implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in matters of social security, OJ L 6, 10.1.1979, p. 24.
(2)Council Directive 97/81/EC of 15.12.1997 on the framework agreement on part-time work concluded by UNICE, CEEP and ETUC, OJ L 14, 20.1.1998, p.9.

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