1. Law guarantees the employment rights of delivery riders who work for digital platforms
Law 12/2021 of 28 September has modified the Statute of Workers and establishes a presumption that delivery riders who distribute consumer products or merchandise through digital platforms are employees.
2. New extension of the temporary layoffs implemented due to the pandemic
Royal Decree-Law 18/2021 of 28 September has extended the benefits of the temporary layoffs that were in place until 30 September and facilitates professional training for those affected by reducing their social security contributions.
3. Breaks – whether or not interrupted – are working time when the worker is not free to manage their own time
The Court of Justice of the European Union has held that lunch breaks and rest periods count as working time. The decisive factor for the court is whether the worker is free to dedicate the time to their own personal and social interests. If they cannot, those periods are considered working time.
4. Complying with COVID-19 safety obligations does not entitle workers to hazard pay
The Supreme Court has found that having direct contact with the public during a pandemic does not give rise, in and of itself, to a right to receive hazard pay when the company has fully complied with the applicable safety measures and adopted those necessary to eliminate, or at least reduce, the risk in question.
5. An employee who suffers a domestic accident before they can start rendering their services is regarded as being in active employment when the delay to their start is caused by circumstances beyond their control
The Supreme Court has held that employees are regarded as being in active employment if they undergo the medical examination, with a view to start rendering their services that same day, but are prevented from starting work that day for reasons beyond their control (in this case the company did not have the necessary paperwork ready). The fact that the employee then had a domestic accident just one day after their medical examination but before they could start work meant that they must still be regarded as being in active employment as their failure to begin rendering services the day before had not been attributable to them.
6. An employer can carry out a dismissal based on the same grounds as a previous objective dismissal that was declared inadmissible due to a formal defect
The Supreme Court has admitted a second attempt at dismissal on objective grounds after the first was denied due to a formal defect. The employer was able to base the second dismissal on the fact that the objective grounds that justified the first dismissal still existed.
7. The National Court abrogates the provision of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement of the Contact-Centre Sector that established work or services contracts as the standard type of contract for contact centres
The National Court has applied the new Supreme Court case law that shifts the concept of specific work or services contracts away from the contact-centre sector. The National Court took the view that contact-centre companies need to prove that they are providing services that are independent in their own right where the object of the contract is specifically to carry out “their ordinary, regular and basic activity”.