On 1 December, Order ESS/1169/2017 dated 28 November was published in the Official State Bulletin, which complements the rules regarding employees’ entitlement to time off on 21 December 2017 to vote in the elections of the Parliament of Catalonia established in Royal Decree 953/2017 of 31 October.
Royal Decree 953/2017 established the obligation for companies to grant paid and non-recoverable leave to each employee of up to four hours within their relevant working day.
By means of Order ESS/1169/2017, additional regulations are published which specify the employees’ rights, and establish the following rules:
- The leave is to be remunerated and non-recoverable. Companies have the right to request proof that the employees have voted, which should be issued by the relevant polling station.
- When the working day coincides with polling station opening hours: It is not necessary to grant the aforementioned leave to employees whose working day coincides partially with the schedule of the polling stations if this overlap is a maximum of two hours. If it is more than two hours and less than four, leave of two hours will be granted. If it coincides four or more hours, the general leave of four hours must be granted.
- The duration of the leave must be reduced proportionally for those employees whose working day is less than the usual, legal or agreed working day on election day.
- Employees whose working hours do not coincide totally or partially with the schedule of the polling stations, are not entitled to any leave.
- The employer has the power to determine what time the leave to vote is to be granted which must coincide with the schedule established by the polling station.
The regulation established by Royal Decree 953/2017 is maintained for polling point officers, auditors or proxies.
Therefore, those employees who are equally obliged to work on 21 December and have been appointed as polling point officers or auditors at the polling stations will be entitled to paid and non-recoverable leave throughout the entire working day of 21 December and during the first five hours of the immediately following working day.
Employees who have been appointed as polling point officers or auditors but have a day of leave programmed on election day are entitled to paid leave for the first five hours of the day immediately following election day.
Additionally, employees who can prove their status as proxies and who do not have a day’s leave on election day are entitled to paid leave for the whole of 21 December.
In any of the foregoing cases, as stated in Order ESS/1169/2017, the company must be provided with proof that the employee has acted as a polling point officer, an auditor or a proxy.