A number of new employment-related laws have been adopted in 2017, including the long-awaited Protection of Paternity Law and the Protection of Maternity (Amendment) Law, which introduced the concept of surrogacy. Amendments to existing laws regarding redundancy and smoking in the workplace have also been made.
The Limassol District Court recently concluded that an appeal pending before the English courts does not suspend an order's enforcement or diminish the validity of an arbitral award. The applicants had applied for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued in May 2016. The court held that the order was final and that there had been no abuse of process; the respondents' request to set aside the award was therefore rejected.
Parliament recently voted to introduce the Protection of Paternity Law. The law came into force on August 1 2017 and gives fathers in Cyprus the right to two consecutive weeks' paid paternity leave. The law has introduced statutory family-friendly rights to Cyprus for the first time, giving employers the opportunity to incentivise and support parents in their workforce.
In a recent Limassol District Court case, the applicants applied for the recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The respondents had previously applied to the Cypriot courts to set aside and annul the arbitral award pursuant to the International Commercial Arbitration Law. In their objection to the application for the recognition of the award, the respondents advanced additional grounds to those raised in their earlier application to annul the award.
The District Court of Limassol recently issued a judgment in relation to an application filed by the Cooperative Bank of Limassol in 2016. The applicants had sought a court order to cross-examine the affiant on certain paragraphs of his affidavit, which supported a 2014 application for the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award in Cyprus.
The Court of Appeal recently overturned a decision of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, stating that an employee's termination was not unlawful, but rather due to redundancy in accordance with the Termination of Employment Law. The employee had been served with a notice of termination which stated that her position would be abolished due to changes in the methods of production and modernisation of the organisation.
The Supreme Court recently examined the correct application of Rule 56 of the Companies (Winding-up) Rules, which regulates the procedure to be followed by the chair at a creditors' meeting in the case of an objection by a creditor regarding whether a proof of debt by another creditor must be accepted in order to determine the creditor's voting rights.
In a recent Industrial Disputes Court case, four individuals sought the full payment of a provident fund which had been affected by the 2013 bank bailout. In making its decision, the court examined when the applicants' right to receive the provident fund had arisen and whether said amount had been affected by the 2013 bank bailout. It also considered whether the applicants had accepted the consequences of the 2013 bank bailout in writing.
The applicant in a recent case applied to the Limassol District Court for the registration and enforcement of an arbitral award which had been issued by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). This case sheds light on the interpretation and application of Article V(1)(c) of the New York Convention and clarifies that an arbitral award, including an award for costs, is registrable before the courts even in cases where the LCIA has no jurisdiction.
In a recent Supreme Court case, the appellants challenged a first-instance court judgment which had refused the registration and execution in Cyprus of a foreign arbitral award issued by the International Commercial Arbitration Court. The appellants claimed that the first-instance judge had erred in concluding that the requirement under Article IV(1)(a) of the New York Convention had not been fulfilled.
The Court of Industrial Disputes recently examined a case in which two public sector workers claimed reinstatement and compensation for unlawful dismissal following the termination of their fixed-term employment contracts. The applicants argued that due to their length of service, their employment status should have been recognised as permanent under the Fixed-Term Employees (Prohibition on Discrimination) Law (98(I)/2003).
The new EU Pensions Directive (IORP II) recently came into force. The introduction of a number of important features and the widening of the scope of prudential supervision by competent authorities under IORP II is likely to be a challenge for the Cyprus regulator, which will need to recruit additional personnel and make changes to its existing structure in order to perform its supervisory review powers, duties and responsibilities effectively and fulfil the reformed regulatory framework's aims.
A recent Supreme Court decision concerned an application to set aside an admiralty action based on the arbitration clause in the guarantee agreement signed by the parties concerned. The court relied on the doctrine of abandonment and decided that the arbitration clause had been abandoned with the parties' consent. As a result, the defendants were estopped from claiming that they had not abandoned their right to activate the arbitration clause and their claim was dismissed.
In a recent case before the Industrial Disputes Tribunal, the dismissal of a pregnant employee following the takeover of her employer's business was deemed to be discriminatory and thus unlawful. The court's judgment is a welcome precedent for pregnant women, who often become victims of discrimination in the workplace. It also raises awareness of Cyprus's anti-discrimination laws, demonstrating that more needs to be done to enforce them in practice.
Lukoil Mid-East Limited filed an application with the Nicosia District Court for the recognition and enforcement in Cyprus of a London Court of International Arbitration award. Terra Seis Cyprus Limited objected on the grounds that the substantive and procedural prerequisites for the recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award in Cyprus had not been met. The court thus considered whether the requirements under Section IV of the New York Convention had been satisfied.
Τhe Termination of Employment Law was recently amended to increase the maximum period of protection for employees who are absent from work owing to temporary incapacity from six months to 12 months plus one quarter of the period of incapacity. The new provision does not apply to employees who are liable to dismissal without notice due to misconduct.
The Industrial Relations Tribunal recently considered substantive and procedural issues in the context of a claim for sexual harassment and victimisation. The court focused on whether the actions concerned fell within the definition of 'sexual harassment' and the damages to which the applicant was entitled. The case illustrates the principles that tribunals apply when examining sexual harassment cases and how they are interpreted by employment courts.
In a recent district court case the applicants applied to register and enforce an arbitral decision issued by the Russian International Commercial Arbitration Court. The respondents argued that recognition of the award was contrary to public policy, but this was rejected by the court. Practitioners should consider how rarely the public policy defence is used and ensure that they can prove the existence of exceptional circumstances which warrant court intervention and protection.
In a recent Nicosia District Court case the applicants applied to register and enforce a Russian International Commercial Arbitration Court arbitral award. The court examined whether the applicants had complied with the requirements of Article IV of the New York Convention. It decided that there was no ground for refusing enforcement and allowed the application for recognition and enforcement of the award in Cyprus.
In a recent Employment Court case the applicant argued that he was eligible for a contract of indefinite duration. The court held that the applicant had worked for the respondents at the same location and with the same duties on a temporary basis under successive fixed-term employment contracts for over 30 months and was therefore eligible to be regarded as a permanent employee.