March 21, 2020
One week after the Alarm Decree, and after the measures approved in the R.D. 8/2020 of March 17, this article schematically analyzes the options of the employer and the self-employed regarding workers.
Each business is different and the circumstances of each one are also different. There are businesses directly affected by a closing order and there are others that are indirectly affected by a drastic reduction in demand, or cannot simply do their job.
The duration of the closure and isolation measures adds a factor of uncertainty regarding the solution to be adopted, since if the period is short, the savings with drastic measures would not be significant and, however, could condition the reactivation of the company. However, if the period is extended, some measures will be required.
We leave for another article the “definitive” measures (individual or collective dismissals) and we are going to refer to the measures that the government encourages to maintain employment, and to other measures that already exist in the legal system that may provide some solutions, remembering that the Decree recalls that “face-to-face work is configured as a first-rate instrument to be able to combine the necessary isolation and containment measures in the spread of the virus and, at the same time, guarantee the continuity in the exercise of numerous business, economic and social.”
Thus, in addition to teleworking, we talk about:
1.- TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF CONTRACTS OR REDUCTION OF THE WORKING DAY FOR CAUSES OF FORCE MAJEURE.
Article 22 of the Royal Decree refers to suspension of contracts and reductions in working hours that have their direct cause in loss of activity as a consequence of COVID-19, including the declaration of the state of alarm, which implies suspension or cancellation of activities, closure temporary of public affluence premises, restrictions on public transport and, in general, on the mobility of people and / or goods, lack of supplies that seriously impede the continued development of the activity, or in urgent situations and extraordinary due to the contagion of the staff or the adoption of preventive isolation measures decreed by the health authority, considering these circumstances as “force majeure”.
2.- TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OR REDUCTION OF DAY FOR ECONOMIC, TECHNICAL, ORGANIZATIONAL OR PRODUCTION CAUSES.
Article 23 of the Decree refers to cases of activities not included in the previous point that the company decides to suspend the contract or reduce the working day for economic, technical, organizational and production reasons related to COVID-19, normally related to the decrease in demand, loss of customers, …
3.- SUBSTANTIAL MODIFICATIONS OF WORKING CONDITIONS.
They may be individual or collective, depending on the number of workers affected and will be those that affect:
A) Working day.
B) Hours and distribution of work time.
C) Shift work regime.
D) Compensation system and salary amount.
E) Work and performance system.
4.- INAPPLICATION OF AGREEMENTS.
Always collective in nature, and after the consultation period has been carried out, the company may not apply the conditions established in the collective agreement.
5.- IRREGULAR DISTRIBUTION OF THE DAY.
Must respect the breaks and notice to the worker and unless the agreement prevents or modifies the system, the employer can distribute up to 10% of the annual working day.
6.- FUNCTIONAL OR GEOGRAPHIC MOBILITY.
The restriction of movement prevents the second, but the first does allow changing the functions of people according to the needs of the company.
A series of articles that it initiates will expose these matters in more depth, remembering that the Labor Department of Ley 57 Abogados Jiménez y Asociados remains at your disposal, having simply interrupted your face-to-face care, maintaining contact with clients by telephone, videoconference, or email.