1 April, 2020

Recoverable paid leave for employees providing non-essential services

As part of the state of alarm decreed by the Spanish government on 14 March  2020 for managing the public health crisis caused by COVID-19, the government has decided to further reduce the mobility of the population by approving Royal Decree Law 10/2020 of March 29, which regulates recoverable paid leave for employees providing non-essential services, in order to reduce the mobility of the population in the context of the fight against COVID-19 (“RDL 10/2020”).

Scope of application of RDL 10/2020

The aforementioned RDL 10/2020 will apply to all employees providing services at public or private companies or institutions whose activity has not been interrupted by Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14. Specifically, and without prejudice to any amendments that may be adopted by the competent authority, the following employees are excluded from its application:

  1. Those providing services in the sectors classified as essential in the Annex to RDL 10/2020.
  2. Those providing services in divisions or production lines with activities related to the aforementioned essential sectors.
  3. Employees of any (a) companies that have already applied for or are implementing a temporary layoff with suspension of contracts and (b) companies that are authorized to carry out a suspension temporary layoff (ERTE) during the term of the leave set out in this RDL 10/2020.
  4. Those who are on sick leave or whose contract has been suspended on other reasons legally proven.
  5. Those who may continue to work remotely, by means of home working or any remote working system.

Specifications of recoverable paid leave

  1. The employees affected by this RDL 10/2020 must/have to take recoverable paid leave between 30 March 30 and 9April 2020, inclusive. These employees shall retain the right to their ordinary remuneration, including basic salary and allowances.
  2. Recoverable paid leave entails the recovery of the working hours not performed, and such recovery may be made effective from the first day following the end of the state of alarm until 31 December This recovery shall be negotiated with the employees’ legal representatives within the context of a consultation period, which shall not exceed seven (7) days. RDL 10/2020 set forth the particularities of this procedure.
  3. In any case, the recovery of those working hours may not involve
    • failure to comply with the daily and weekly minimum rest periods,
    • the establishment of a notice period shorter than that set out in Article 34.2 of the Workers’ Statute,
    • or exceeding the maximum number of annual working hours laid down in the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Likewise, the rights to balance personal, work and family life must be respected.

Minimum essential activity

If necessary, in order to maintain the minimum essential activity, the companies that must apply the recoverable paid leave may establish a minimum number of employees or shifts that are strictly necessary. This activity and this minimum number of employees or shifts will be based on the activity carried out during an ordinary weekend or on public holidays.

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