As we anticipated a few months ago, the entry into force of Royal Decree 6/2019 of March 1st, entails a series of changes in relation to equal opportunities in the workplace such as the flexibility offered to adapt the workday to make effective the right to conciliate family and work life.
Rights and obligations in work and family conciliation
The new regulations establish additional rights and obligations that companies must comply with:
- The worker’s right to reduce their working hours to care for their children under the year of 12, specifying their schedule within the working hours and applying the corresponding salary reduction, remains in force and with no modification.
- As an addition, it is included the right to request adaptations of the duration and distribution of their working time, in both, the organization of their time and the form of working, including the benefit of remote work (teleworking), to make effective their right to conciliate family and work life. In this case, they do not specify that it is for children under the age of 12.
- The adaptations requested by the employee must be reasonable and proportionate in relation to the needs of the employee and to the organizational or productive needs of the company.
- Collective bargaining agreements shall establish the terms to exercise these rights. In its absence, the company, upon request from the employee to adapt his/her working day, must:
- Open a negotiation process with the employee for a maximum of 30 days.
- By the end of said term, a written communication should be given either stating their conformity with the request, an alternative to the proposal that enables the conciliation needs, or the refusal the request, indicating the reasons for the company’s decision in the latter case.
- Employees may defend their rights before the social jurisdiction, through a process of conciliation rights of personal, family and working life. In this process, the parties shall bring proposals and conciliation alternatives for their consideration in the act of conciliation and trial. Additionally, the action for damages caused by the refusal can be accumulated to the claim.
All this does not mean that a la carte working day has been implemented. The law establishes a right for employees to request adaptations to their working day, which must be reasonable and proportionate to the needs of the company and the employee. Nevertheless, these additional elements of flexibility make it necessary to be even more careful to manage these processes in order to avoid labor conflicts, possible compensations, and sanctions for companies for not complying with said regulations.
The Labor Department of UHY Fay & Co offers you a specialized advisory service for you to apply these regulations with the greatest legal certainty.