On this occasion, much of the session was dedicated to the traditional legal update segment and examining the latest rulings which have near-revolutionised labour legislation in recent months. As is customary, Daniel Cifuentes, Partner of the Labour Law Department, opened the seminar by presenting the latest labour law decisions issued by the Supreme Court, the National High Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Given its importance and the intense media coverage it received, the explanation of and subsequent discussion on the recent ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding compensation for interim contracts elicited great interest from the attendees. According to Cifuentes, “This ruling invites a broad interpretation of the compensation that may be due to interim workers without necessarily implying an extension of that reasoning to the other types of temporary contracts”.
The important Supreme Court ruling of 18 May 2016, which reaffirms the doctrine of contractualisation of collective bargaining agreements whose terms have expired, was also discussed. According to this ruling, certain rights conferred by a collective bargaining agreement become part of the workers’ contract once this agreement has expired. In the words of Cifuentes, “This interpretation could indirectly lead to a two-tier wage system that could affect workers in the same company.”
Following on from this, Fernando Ruiz, Partner of the Labour Law Department at Perez-Llorca, explained the new Labour and Social Security Inspection Authorities’ directive on the monitoring of working hours and overtime. In this regard, the importance of businesses calculating working hours correctly, even when workers do not perform overtime, was highlighted. It was also revealed that the Labour and Social Security Inspection Authorities are set to launch a specific campaign to monitor companies and, where appropriate, penalise those that do not comply with this new directive.
The seminar ended with a productive discussion about the issues that had been raised, where numerous questions were asked about the practical impact that the developments would have on companies. These questions were mainly centred around the necessary adaptations to be made by companies to comply with the latest directive by the Labour and Social Security Inspection Authorities on the monitoring of working hours.