Employment and pensions: Refusal of travel concessions to co-habitees of the same sex - ECJ decision

United Kingdom
The ECJ has ruled that the refusal by an employer to allow travel concessions to the person of the same sex even if a worker has a stable relationship with that person, where such concessions are allowed to a worker's spouse or to the person of the opposite sex with whom a worker has a stable relationship outside marriage, does not constitute discrimination prohibited by EU Law.

The preliminary ruling arose from a proceeding between Mrs. Grant and South-West Trains, a company operating railways in the region of Southampton. Mrs. Grant applied for travel concessions (privileged tickets) for her female partner, with whom she declared she had had a meaningful relationship for over two years. South-West Trains refused to allow the benefit on the ground that for unmarried persons travel concessions could be granted only for a partner of the opposite sex (Case C-249/96 Grant v South-West Trains Ltd).