This case concerned a French teacher, resident in the UK and undertaking agency work during pregnancy. She stopped working 11 weeks before the expected date for the birth, and resumed work three months after the birth. She made a claim for Income Support (a form of social security benefit) for this period. The UK Government refused her claim, as under UK law Income Support is not granted to “persons from abroad”. Ms Saint Prix sought to challenge the Government’s decision before the UK courts, arguing that the UK legislation is contrary to EU law, and specifically to its obligations under Directive 2004/38/EC (the Citizenship Directive).
On 12 March 2014 the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (“CoJ”) delivered two judgments in preliminary reference cases upon request by the Raad van State (Council of State, Netherlands). In both cases, namely Case C-456/12 O. and B. v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel and Case C-457/12 S. and G. v Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel, the Netherlands’ authorities had refused to grant a right of residence to a third-country national who is a family member of an EU citizen of Netherlands nationality.