Press release on the unconstitutionality of the regulation concerning the conditions of dismissal of pregnant women29 May 2014
The Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionality and annulled the regulation of the Labour Code which prescribed that pregnant woman or who is participating in human reproductive process are entitled to protection against dismissal only if she had informed her employer about her condition before the dismissal notice.
Following the petition of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, the Constitutional Court has declared that pregnancy and participation in human reproductive process are clearly such circumstances that belong to the private and intimate sphere of the woman. Thus, the obligatory disclosure of these circumstances to the employer is an intervention in her private life. In the concerned case, the information of the employer is obviously not voluntary as it is the criterion for her protection against dismissal.
In its decision the Constitutional Court explicated that the State basically has freedom to prescribe regulations to protect pregnant woman in the field of employment, but the conditions of the protection cannot lead to unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on the fundamental rights of the employee. Consequently, the woman should inform her employer about her conditions only when the dismissal is communicated. However, the challenged regulation prescribed that the woman should inform her employer immediately when she becomes aware of her pregnancy or when she begins to participate in human reproductive process to be entitled to the protection against dismissal. Therefore, the Constitutional Court declared that the challenged regulation restricted unconstitutionally the right to private life and human dignity of the woman. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court pointed out that the legislature imposed unfair condition on woman who is still not aware of her pregnancy, thus she is not able to request the protection and this results in discrimination.
In addition the Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionally of the challenged regulation and annulled it, called upon the law-maker to examine the related regulations and to eliminate any accidental unconstitutionality concerning the provisions of the employees also in the public sector.
Dr. Imre Juhász, Dr. Béla Pokol and Dr. László Salamon judges attached concurring opinion to the decision.