The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that EU LGBT workers must get the same benefits as married employees if they have entered into a civil partnership.

The highest court in the European Union ruled in favour of French bank worker Frederic Hay and also set an EU-wide standard on Thursday.

He was denied additional leave and bonuses provided to married workers after entering into a civil pact with his partner.

The ECJ stated that Mr Hay’s situation was “direct discrimination based on sexual orientation” which subsequently changed French law and the bank’s collective bargaining agreement.

Civil Solidarity Pacts known as PACS were introduced in France in 1999 and allowed same-sex couples to be legally recognised but they did not provide all the benefits associated with marriage.

PACS forbade the right to artificial insemination and joint adoption.

France passed an equal marriage law providing same-sex couples with the legal right to marry and the right to adoption earlier this year.

President Francois Holland signed the bill into law in May.