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Teleworking after the lunch break in Covid times – the Spanish National Court speaks

Long months of adaptation to the COVID, and set-up of legal proceedings have taken us to the first results of the claims of trade unions and companies, in the sphere of law. Specifically, the Social Chamber of the Spanish National High Court mirrors on teleworking after the lunch break.

Teleworking after the lunch break

Certain companies are applying telework after lunch as a measure for the prevention and protection of the health of workers.

The most representative trade unions in Spain, such as the General Union and the Federation of Workers’ Commissions, are discussing this measure. They have filed lawsuits against this type of corporative actions.

Judgment 105/2021 of the Audiencia Nacional (National High Court)

Emilia Ruiz-Jarabo Quemada, Rapporteur of the National Court, determines in her judgment 105/2021, that this action will not be considered a substantial modification of working conditions based on the variation of working hours, and the adapted working formulas.

The magistrate offers different arguments to understand that this variation is in accordance with the law. Let us have a look at the key points:

  1. Regarding the voluntary nature of teleworking, they were supposed to be motivated by the exceptional restrictions of the Royal Decree of 14 March with the state of alarm.

  2. These were temporary and transitory measures.

  3. Prior negotiations were attempted with both syndicates in order to carry out the informative corporative notes for all the jobs in the specific company.

  4. It talks about the workers' right to health and safety at work, rights to life. Also that the measure is more an adaptation of the circumstances to the legislation of the moment.

  5. With regard to the recovery of hours within the daily working day itself, the NA argues that it is -in any case- permitted, as the worker would necessarily have to spend time travelling home at the end of the working day.

Protection of employers and their work teams

The Protection for EMPLOYERS is supposed to be the key-point. The endeavour to protect their professional activities, but particularly their main asset, the PEOPLE in their work teams. This is the basis for admitting modifications; certainly not all alterations to contracts are said to be substantial or essential, but perhaps protected by circumstances.

Our Labour Department will assist you in compliance with the law and health and safety measures in your COMPANY. Besides that, we also want to take care of your workers. Contact us freely.

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