The Court held that it was in breach of the right to equal treatment enshrined in the German constitution that periods of maternity leave (which affects women only) were not counted towards certain pension benefits whereas periods of sick leave (which affects both men and women) were.
Women and Justice: Keywords
Employees of state hospitals in Hamburg were granted the right in 1995 to continued employment in case of privatization of the hospitals. In 2000, the cleaning staff were spun out into a separate company which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state hospitals. Upon privatization in 2005, the right to continued employment was applied only to those employees employed by the state hospitals, not those employed by the wholly-owned subsidiary company. The Court held this to be in breach of the right to equal treatment enshrined in the German constitution as the cleaning staff denied the right to continued employment due to the spin-off were predominantly women and there was no evident justification for the unequal treatment of the two groups of employees.
The Court held that it was unconstitutional to require an attorney without earnings to continue to make compulsory pension contributions during time taken out to care for children (up to the age of three years). Requiring such compulsory pension contributions was viewed as in breach of the right to equal treatment enshrined in the German constitution because it disproportionately affects women who are in the vast majority of cases the ones taking time out to care for small children.