Pérez-Llorca’s Employment, Compensation and Benefits practice area held a new ‘Pérez-Llorca Labour Law Update’ session addressing the arrival of compliance to the labour market was addressed, specifically the new obligations for companies following the reform of the Criminal Code and the approval of the Draft Law on Whistleblowing. This conference was attended by Daniel Cifuentes, Isabel Moya and Laura Pérez, partners of this practice area, Yolanda Valdeolivas, Of Counsel of this practice area and Guillermo Meilán, White Collar Crime and Investigations lawyer.
Daniel Cifuentes opened the session by analysing the main trends in the labour law sector. Among other matters, the Pérez-Llorca partner analysed issues such as the approval of Law 15/2022 for equal treatment and non-discrimination, the increase of the minimum wage to €1,100 euros by January 2023, as well as the Labour and Social Security Inspection Authorities’ monitoring of the causes of collective dismissals. Cifuentes also highlighted the Preliminary Draft Law for the transposition of Directive 2019/1158 on the work-life balance for parents and carers, and the Ministry of Health’s National Mental Health Strategy for 2022-2026, which includes the idea that the workplace should be set up as an ideal space to promote good mental health among workers.
The partner then commented on the most significant rulings of both the Supreme Court and the National High Court concerning various matters such as work-life balance, collective bargaining, risk prevention, privacy, ordinary pay, remote working and trade union representation.
Following the usual session format, the speakers presented the top three most significant judgments in employment law matters from recent months. First, they highlighted the Constitutional Court ruling of 6 January 2021 and the Supreme Court ruling of 26 July 2022. Both establish that a dismissal does not have to be declared null and void because it is based on evidence obtained in violation of fundamental rights.
Subsequently, Daniel Cifuentes and Isabel Moya highlighted the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 5 May 2022, contrary to Directive 2008/94/EC, which ruled that the accumulation of administrative and management functions as a director cannot be classified as an employment relationship.
Lastly, Cifuentes explained the Spanish High Court’s ruling of 15 July 2022, which indicates that there is a collective dismissal in companies that make up a labour group when the number of all of their terminations exceeds the established thresholds.
Yolanda Valdeolivas introduced a series of points to consider in day-to-day business management. In terms of legislative developments, the Of Counsel mentioned the reform of the Criminal Code and the Draft Law on Whistleblowing which transposes EU Directive 2019/1937 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law. With regard to the reform of the Criminal Code, Valdeolivas analysed the complementary legislation that may have affected this legislative modification in areas such as effective equality or the protection of victims in cases of gender violence, among others.
Guillermo Meilán reflected on the potential employment law and criminal implications for companies of the aforementioned reform of the Criminal Code. Among other issues, this regulation broadens the catalogue of offences that can give rise to criminal liability for legal entities and highlights the need for adequate harassment prevention protocols to prevent this type of behaviour. Likewise, the Pérez-Llorca lawyer reviewed the main novelties of the Draft Law on Whistleblowing, as well as the effects that the current wording of the Draft Law could have on companies in terms of criminal and employment law.
To conclude the session, Laura Pérez and Guillermo Meilán stressed that the Draft Law on Whistleblowing strengthens the concept of the guarantee of indemnity, a legal mechanism that protects any worker who makes claims in defence of his or her rights. With this draft law, a period of two years has been established to determine the indemnity guarantee period in order to provide greater legal certainty in the field of employment.