HMRC defeated at European Court of Justice on rights for pregnant self-employed EU Citizens

Thursday 19 September 2019

The Court of Justice has handed down judgment (19 September 2019) in the case of HMRC v Dakneviciute C-544/18 holding that pregnant self-employed EU citizens can retain their self-employed status during periods of pregnancy and maternity when not working.

Adrian Berry and Desmond Rutledge of Garden Court Chambers represented Ms Dakneviciute, instructed by the Welfare Rights Service of the City of Wolverhampton Council.

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HMRC, the Government agency in the case, had argued that pregnant women and those in the post-birth maternity period lost their right of residence. 

Adrian Berry, Barrister at Garden Court Chambers said:

"This highly significant ruling allows pregnant women to retain a right to reside in the UK during pregnancy and maternity and to be eligible for child benefit, tax credits, homelessness assistance, social housing and other related benefits. It also gives them lawful residence in this period."

"Had the Government succeeded many women would have lost their means to live at a critical time in their lives. The ruling protects the position of women and new-born babies."

Adrian Berry and Desmond Rutledge are members of the Garden Court Chambers Welfare Benefits, Community Care and Public Law Teams.  

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