Labour inspectorate campaigns for 2016

Written on 29 Mar 2016

After the 2015 restructuration of the labour inspectorate, it is expected that its campaigns will have a more cohesive execution, especially those that are meant to guarantee an effective fight against irregular employment and fraud. 

The campaigns of the labour inspectorate (“LI”) for 2016 will be centred, among others, on controlling part time employment contracts, overtime and contributions to the social security.

In this regard, it must be born in mind that the LI information sources have strengthened after the collaboration with the Financial and Tax Inspectorate Department of the Spanish Agency of the Tax Administration was approved and the agreements and plans with the Autonomous Communities were reached. These factors are expected to contribute to more homogenous inspections to fight non declared work and irregular employment. 

In this regard, among other important national campaigns, the following will take place during 2016:

1. Verification of the use of part time employment contracts. The Ministry of Employment has informed the LI that the use of part time contracts has led to irregular situations in which the number of working hours reported are inferior to those effectively rendered.

It is expected that the LI will control the content of the contracts, in order to determine if the working time reported to the administration was established in generic terms to impede the control of the working hours rendered. Moreover, when visiting workplaces, the LI may interview part time employees individually to detect if there are any discrepancies between the working hours reported to the labour authorities and social security, and the hours effectively rendered.

2. The LI has the objective of monitoring overtime, specifically the number of hours rendered, its compensation and the fulfilment of registry obligations. In this regard, the LI has argued that employers have the obligation to register ordinary working hours in order to guarantee a correct registry of overtime. This interpretation has recently received the support of two decisions of the National Court (Audiencia Nacional) dated 4 December 2015 and 19 February 2016. In both cases the Court considered that employers (which were banks) have the obligation to register ordinary working hours.

Therefore, the activity of the LI will probably be centred on monitoring the number of hours of overtime rendered, but also on registering systems of working time. Therefore, during 2016 the companies should confirm if it is necessary to adapt their working hours register systems and the mechanisms to establish such systems if they have not been implemented.

3. Finally, contributions to the social security for work accidents of employees who have office tasks will continue to be controlled. In specific, the Eight Final Disposition of the Law 48/2015, of 29 April, approving the National Budget Law for 2016 defines which employees are considered “personnel who render office tasks”, the LI will monitor if office employees that render services for companies, that have an activity which is not exclusively that of an office, are rendering services at working areas exclusively reserved for office purposes.

As a consequence of the above, the objective of LI’s actions is to control the inappropriate use of part time contracts, working hours that are not provided by contract, overtime and fraud on the contributions to the social security. Nevertheless, please note that these are only some of the relevant matters that will be object of the LI’s campaigns, and that other relevant matters, among others, temporary employment contracts and prevention of occupational hazards will take place in 2016.