1. THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION RULES THAT SPANISH LEGISLATION THAT ALLOWS A WORKER TO BE REFUSED EARLY RETIREMENT WHEN THEY WOULD NOT BE ENTITLED TO THE MINIMUM STATE PENSION IS LAWFUL
Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 January 2021, matter C-843/2019
The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that EU legislation on equal treatment for men and women in social security matters does not preclude national legislation which, in the case of an employee seeking voluntary early retirement, makes his or her entitlement to an early retirement pension subject to the condition that the amount of that pension be at least equivalent to the minimum pension that the employee would be entitled to at the age of 65, even if this is particularly disadvantageous for female workers as compared with male workers.
2. AN ‘ERTE’ DUE TO FORCE MAJEURE AS A RESULT OF COVID-19 IS COMPATIBLE WITH A CONTRACTOR'S RIGHT TO REQUEST THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ECONOMIC EQUILIBRIUM OF A CONTRACT
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court of 25 January 2021
The Labour Chamber of the Supreme Court has ruled that a contractor's right to request the re-establishment of the economic equilibrium of a contract under article 34 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 can be exercised while a force majeure ‘ERTE’ as a result of COVID-19 is in place. The Court also held that, if a company meets all the requirements to carry out an ‘ERTE’ and files all the necessary documents, the application may be tacitly approved by positive administrative silence.
3. THE SUPREME COURT RULES THE BANK OF SPAIN DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCESS ITS EMPLOYEES’ PERSONAL INCOME TAX RETURNS
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court of 21 December 2020
The Supreme Court has held that companies must respect the dignity of their employees when carrying out checks on their activity, which excludes the possibility of demanding they disclose their personal income tax returns and other tax information, as this would breach their right to personal data protection.
4. THE FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION IS NOT INFRINGED BY A COMPANY ESTABLISHING COMMON GUIDELINES FOR EMPLOYEES EXCLUDED FROM THE SCOPE OF A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the Spanish Supreme Court of 16 December 2020
The Supreme Court has held that a framework of reference drawn up unilaterally by a company for employees excluded from the applicable collective bargaining agreement, in which neither the workers’ representatives nor any of the trade unions with the most members in the company was involved, cannot be considered either as contrary to the freedom of association (in trade unions) or as an “individual negotiation en masse”.
5. A COMPANY IS NOT OBLIGED TO PROVIDE A TRADE UNION SECTION WITH A CORPORATE EMAIL ACCOUNT TO COMMUNICATE WITH EMPLOYEES
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the Spanish National Court of 9 December 2020
The Labour Chamber of the National High Court has ruled that a company was not obliged to make a corporate email account available to the group of trade union representatives in its workplace and, consequently, it was not obliged to provide them with the email addresses of all the company’s employees. Furthermore, the Court held that the company had not obstructed or passively resisted the trade union representatives’ communication with employees, but had instead engaged in dialogue and explained the company’s situation, proposing measures that were not accepted by the trade union.
6. THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY RULES THAT A DISMISSAL BASED ON GROUNDS RELATED TO COVID-19 IS NULL AND VOID
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country of 26 January 2020
The High Court of Justice of the Basque Country has ruled that a dismissal based on grounds relating to COVID-19 was null and void, since internal flexibility measures must be taken before employment contracts are terminated. It ruled than an interpretation of the legislation in line with the objectives pursued by the legislator must result in the nullity of a dismissal that had been carried out in an attempt to avoid having to comply with article 2 of Royal Decree-Law 9/2020 (and was therefore a ‘fraud of law’).
7. THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE OF CATALONIA HOLDS THAT A REDUNDANCY IS FAIR BECAUSE THE DISMISSAL PROHIBITION IN ARTICLE 2 OF ROYAL DECREE-LAW 9/2020 DOES NOT APPLY
Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia of 11 December 2020
The High Court of Justice of Catalonia has held that, according to article 22 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, the dismissal prohibition set out in article 2 of Royal Decree-Law 9/2020 does not apply in those cases in which the dismissal is not directly due to COVID-19. As a result, the dismissal in this was case was declared to be fair, as ordinary labour law applies. The judgment includes a dissenting opinion.
8. A REDUNDANCY IS RULED NULL AND VOID DUE TO THE FAILURE TO OBSERVE ARTICLE 51 OF THE STATUTE OF WORKERS, IN APPLICATION OF THE RECENT CASE LAW OF THE SUPREME COURT LIMITING THE USE OF A CONTRACT FOR A SPECIFIC WORK OR SERVICE LINKED TO THE TERM OF THE CONTRACT
Judgment of Labour Court 3 of Bilbao of 4 January 2021
Labour Court 3 of Bilbao, following the recent case law of the Supreme Court relating to the hiring of temporary workers under a contract for a specific work or service, has ruled that it was unlawful to use this type of contract in this case as the activity to be performed was not sufficiently autonomous and substantive in its nature. Consequently, it held that the dismissal of the workers incorrectly hired under this type of contract was null and void, as it should have been done according to the redundancy procedure set out in article 51 of the Statute of Workers.