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Judgement date :24/01/2018
The case concerned five employees who worked in duty-free shops at a Turkish airport and the rejection of their claims for overtime pay. The employees argued that there had been a violation of the right to a fair hearing under Article 6§1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) but the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found no violation.
In 2003 the claimants brought proceedings against their employer and claimed compensation for the overtime hours they had worked beyond the legal working time. The labour court, relying on the Court of Cassation’s interpretation of overtime, gave a final judgment in 2009 in which it reversed a previous decision finding in favour of the applicants. It dismissed some of the applicants’ claims entirely and, in others, reduced the overtime compensation by 90%.
In 2010, the claimants submitted an application to the ECtHR. Relying on Article 6§1 ECHR (right to a fair hearing), the applicants complained that the proceedings concerning their overtime had been unfair. They notably alleged that the Court of Cassation’s interpretation of overtime protected employers and encouraged excessive working hours.
The applicants also alleged violations of Article 1 – Protocol 1 to the Convention (right to the peaceful enjoyment of possessions) and of Article 4 ECHR (prohibition of slavery, servitude and forced labour). Both of these claims were deemed inadmissible as incompatible rationae materiae with the ECHR. [Paras 62; 69].
The ECtHR found no violation of Article 6§1. It considered that the domestic courts’ reasoning in the applicants’ case was sufficient for the purposes of Article 6§1 ECHR and therefore concluded that there had been no violation of that provision. [Para. 54].