Speakers at the event included Daniel Cifuentes and Isabel Moya, partners of the Employment practice area, and Andrea Sánchez, associate from the Intellectual Property and Technology practice area, who covered the critical points of the last quarter of 2021 in the area of Employment Law, and analysed the matters that companies must pay special attention to this year.
The session started with Daniel Cifuentes explaining the trends in the employment law sector. Among other matters, Cifuentes gave a brief overview of the right to digital disconnection and employees’ legal representatives’ right to be informed about algorithms and artificial intelligence used by companies. The partner also highlighted the main employment consequences of a four-day working week. Elsewhere, he briefly analysed matters such as the entry into force of the increase in the value of sanctions set out in the LISOS (Ley de Infracciones y Sanciones en el Orden de lo Social), the automatic imposition of penalties by the Labour and Social Security Inspection Authorities, the inability for companies to demand information about their employees’ vaccination status, the imminent employment reform affecting matters such as training contracts and the duration of temporary employment.
Next, Daniel Cifuentes and Isabel Moya summarised the most significant rulings handed down by Spanish and European courts on a number of matters and explored the top three rulings that they consider to be the most important in terms of Employment Law from the last few months.
Firstly, Moya analysed the Constitutional Court judgment of 31 May 2021 regarding the right to work-life balance, which establishes that in conflicts involving constitutional rights, such as the right to non-discrimination based on sex, the labour courts must not only look at ordinary legislation, but must also analyse the matter from a constitutional perspective.
Next, Cifuentes highlighted the Constitutional Court judgment of 12 July 2021 on collective dismissals. This judgment introduces a doctrinal change by stating that, in the event of an agreement in the context of a collective dismissal, employees may, through individual proceedings, challenge the causality of the dismissal, as otherwise their right to due process would be violated.
Lastly, Isabel Moya explained the Supreme Court’s judgment of 30 June 2021, which strengthens the limitation of temporary contracts, specifically work and service contracts.
Data protection: management of employees’ privacy
Daniel Cifuentes and Andrea Sánchez ended the session with an analysis of the protection of data linked to employment relationships. Firstly, they highlighted the need for data protection consent granted by the employees to specify the specific ends for which such data will be used.
Among the main issues discussed were the need for employee consent in order to use their image on the company’s external website or in informative brochures, the possibility of accessing LinkedIn profiles to evaluate possible candidates, the inability to access profiles on social networks related to the employee’s private life such as Facebook or Instagram, the need for companies to adopt measures that prevent associating a specific salary with a certain employee through salary registers, the obligation to carry out an impact assessment when the employees’ registration of working hours is carried out biometrically and the data protection obligations of employees related to whistleblowing channels.
Lastly, and to conclude the event, Sánchez pointed out that once the employment relationship between the employee and the company ends, the latter must conserve the former’s information in a restricted manner so that it is only possible to access it in the event of potential business liability or in case of a problem with the employee.