Employment - Legislative and case law developments

17 June 2024

1. Prior notice of collective redundancies must be given to all trade union representatives

The Supreme Court has held that a company’s failure to notify its trade union representatives in advance of a workplace closure is a violation of the right to freedom of association and the right for workers to be represented in the workplace, irrespective of the size of the trade union at a national or regional level.

2. Consent to post-contractual non-compete agreement

The Supreme Court has held that an employee’s consent to a post-contractual non-compete obligation in their employment contract was not vitiated (and therefore the obligation was binding) even though that obligation had not be set out in their offer of employment.

3. A collective bargaining agreement can remove benefits

The Supreme Court has held that a clause of a new collective bargaining agreement that removed existing benefits for workers is legal because the decision to withdraw them was made during the collective bargaining negotiations and therefore by those authorised to make such decisions. The company benefits were initially considered as “special” improvements for workers, but that status was lost once they were included in various collective bargaining agreements and as such they could be removed during negotiations.

4. Severe disability allowance: incompatible with full-time employment

The Supreme Court has held that an individual who is a full-time employee of the Spanish National Organisation for the Blind (ONCE) cannot also claim a severe disability allowance. The severe disability allowance is intended to replace the income that an individual can no longer earn as a result of not being able to work due to a severe disability.

5. Glovo meetings with delivery drivers do not violate the right to freedom of association

The Supreme Court has held that the meetings Glovo held with its delivery drivers in which it rejected their demands to be considered employees and suggested that the delivery drivers collectively put forward a request that their sector be regulated differently to the trade unions’ proposals, did not violate their right to freedom of association.

6. Employer ordered to pay employee EUR 1,000 in damages for violating their rights to digital disconnection and protection of personal data

The High Court of Justice of Galicia has held that sending emails to an employee outside of their working hours is a violation of their right to digital disconnection and that transferring their contact details to third parties with which the employer worked without obtaining the employee’s express prior consent is a violation of their right to the protection of personal data.

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Juan Reyes

Partner since 2011 Barcelona

Ana Alós

Partner since 2016 Barcelona

Raúl Boo

Partner since 2022 Valencia