New victory against Ryanair (Parat Norway)

January 9, 2015

In a new judgement, Moss District Court has ruled that the Cocca case will be decided according to Norwegian law. The Court of Appeal has previously ruled that the case will be brought before a Norwegian court. Deputy head of Parat, Vegard Einan, believes that Ryanair now will have to change its operational model and take Norwegian laws and regulations into account.

The Court of Appeal states that there can be no doubt that Ryanair operates from Moss Airport Rygge, in the same manner that the company operates in a number of other countries, even though the company’s headquarters are in Ireland and operations are organized from there.

Employees are affiliated with Norway, not Ireland

The court describes Alessandra Cocca’s Italian citizenship, that her training took place in Germany, and that she has served on air services based on Norwegian passengers. She has only been in Ireland once, and this was to receive her dismissal.

“This applies to large numbers of Ryanair’s employees. They have no affiliation with Ireland, and it is completely unreasonable that Cocca in this case should submit to an Irish court and pay for Irish lawyers herself. The Court’s decision is based on the case she won on the question of which country’s courts should handle the case. The question was considered by the Supreme Court in December 2013 and in a new court decision in Borgarting Appeals Court in March 2014,” says Parat’s lawyer Christen Horn Johannessen.

Horn Johannessen says the victory in the Appeals Court on the issue of legal venue, i.e. which country’s courts should consider the matter, was an important fundamental victory.

“The question this time concerned which country’s law or choice of law that should apply in this type of case. In addition to the fact that the employee as the weaker party is entitled to special protection, the court bases its decision on where the employee has her primary affiliation. Employees who live at and work from the company’s base are in other words subject to Norwegian courts and Norwegian laws and regulations,” the Parat lawyer says.

Einan believes that Ryanair will now also have to pay tax to Norway

Parat’s deputy head Vegard Einan also sees the victory in court as a moral victory against companies who wish to operate in Norway, while simultaneously attempting to exempt themselves from the country’s laws and regulations.

“Firstly, I believe this is a judgement that other European countries will adopt, so that in the future Ryanair will have to adhere to the laws and rules that apply in the country in which they are based. At the same time I believe that due to Parat’s work in the court system, Ryanair and similar companies now will have to pay tax in Norway, that they must pay the Norwegian employer’s contribution and must in all other aspects take into account the same rules as Norwegian companies,” Einan says.

He believes that this case will have serious financial repercussions for Ryanair and create a more fair competition situation between Ryanair and Norwegian airlines.

“The decisions Parat has achieved through the courts in the cases against Ryanair are a victory for Norwegian aviation, and for Norwegian jobs,” says Einan.

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