clarifications and scopes of application

when collective agreements apply
Important things to know about collective agreements

When we talk about labor issues there are several regulations that affect the rights of workers. In the first place, it is necessary to take into account what the Spanish Constitution says, which is the supreme norm of the Spanish legal system. Then, the Workers' Statute, which is the regulation in which said rights are legally developed. Also collective agreements and, finally, the employment contract between the company and the worker.

We have talked about the contract on numerous occasions in this blog. And we have also told you what the Workers' Statute is and what is included in it. Therefore, this time we are going to develop what are collective agreementswhat typology is there, what is its validity and how does it affect the validity of the agreement and the rights of the workers.

  1. What are collective agreements?
  2. How long does a collective agreement last?
  3. Do you need labor legal advice?

What are collective agreements?

The collective agreement is norm that regulates the rights of workers collectively. In other words, it develops how rights are exercised in a certain scope of application as a result of previous negotiations.

Its main mission is to improve the basic rights that are included in the Workers' Statute.

Normally collective agreements are signed for a group of professionals who share a job. The different areas of application in which they can be signed are the following:

  • The company.
  • The province.
  • The autonomous community.
  • At the state level.
  • In a certain sector or industry.

These regulations are very important since the Workers' Statute itself refers to the agreements on some specific issues of some sectors or professions. And it makes sense because said statute is a state regulation that is intended to have a certain durability over time. However, the agreements are more dynamic and are renewed from time to time.

How long does a collective agreement last?

The duration (or validity) of each agreement is fixed when the same is negotiated. Once this period is over, the agreement is renewed annually until one of the parties denounces it, thus opening the term again to a new collective bargaining.

There are some agreements in which it is included in the text itself that once the established term has expired, the agreement is denounced and, therefore, it will cease to have force and collective bargaining would begin again.

Once an agreement is terminatedthere is a term of one year for the parties to negotiate a new one. This year, the denounced agreement continues to be applied. Once this year is over, if an agreement has not been signed, the applicable higher level collective agreement would begin to apply.

If there were no higher level agreement, after several debates on the matter, the Supreme Court has ruled that:

"Working conditions are contracted and become a more beneficial condition or acquired right of the workers, but this would not affect the workers who are new to the company."

Namely, the company's workers who were contracted while the agreement was in force would continue to benefit from its conditions. However, those who entered new, no. Therefore, the salary level would not be applied according to the agreement, but rather the Minimum Interprofessional Salary in force at that time.

Whether you have doubts about the application of the collective agreement in your sector, or other labor matters, such as unpaid wages or your rights as a worker or workers, request a legal consultation with our labor lawyers.

With our labor video consultation service, without the need to travel, by phone or video call, you will speak with an expert lawyer in Labor Law for 30 minutes and receive personalized legal advice to resolve all your doubts.

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