Employment and pensions

Mandatory business policies on labor matters

Published on 26th Nov 2020

Lately, labor law has had to adapt to new realities, in which employees and employers coexist in a changing and unstable environment. For this reason, in addition to the employment contract, different policies and formal obligation have been established to be implemented by the companies, which are detailed below.

  • Policy regulating the right of working people to digital disconnection

Digital disconnection is configured as a right for working people and as an obligation for companies. Regarding the former, working people have the right not to be connected or available during their time off, leave and vacations. On the other hand, companies are obliged to implement, through an internal policy, the procedure to guarantee such respect for rest time, and for the personal and family privacy of workers.

In this way, the right to digital disconnection is a fundamental requirement to achieve a better organization of working time in order to respect private and family life, improve the reconciliation of personal, family and work life and contribute to the optimization occupational health of all working people.

Both Organic Law 3/2018 of December 5, Protection of Personal Data and guarantee of digital rights, as well as Royal Decree-Law 28/2020, of September 22, on remote work establish that this right must be regulated by internal politics. Specifically, this policy must establish all the necessary means to guarantee its effective exercise, the exercise modalities and the training and awareness-raising actions on a reasonable use of technological tools.

Lack of implementation may imply the imposition of financial sanctions by the Labor Inspectorate, as well as possible conflicts with employees, since it has a direct impact on employees' working time, rest periods, overtime, etc.

  • Policy against harassment and discrimination

All companies, regardless of their size, have the duty to implement a policy or protocol of action against workplace harassment and any form of discrimination at work. Again, the lack of implementation can imply economic sanctions.

  • Obligation to record working time

It is advisable to regulate in writing the terms and conditions under which all employees must record their working time, in order to ensure that the record is not unduly carried out by employees.

The time record system is regulated in article 34.9 of the Workers' Statute, which establishes that the daily record of the day must faithfully reflect the working time, including the start and end times. Likewise, it is advisable to also include the conditions relating to overtime, with reference to issues such as what overtime means, whether they require prior approval...

  • Remote working agreement

Royal Decree-Law 28/2020 approving the new Telework Law establishes that the remote work agreement will be mandatory in cases in which the worker works remotely under the terms set forth in the law. This agreement may be part of the initial contract or made later. It should be taken into account that the agreement must have a mandatory minimum content that is regulated in article 7 of the aforementioned Regulation.

  • Obligation to carry out a salary audit

Royal Decree-Law 6/2019 establishes the imperative of keeping a record of the average salaries, salary supplements and extra remuneration of the workforce, disaggregated by sex and distributed by professional groups, professional categories or positions of equal value, in order to know and remedy, where appropriate, the gender pay gap.

Failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to 6,250 euros, since its findings are very important to assess whether any corrective action needs to be taken, as well as avoiding future claims for discrimination reasons.

Companies must review if they comply with all the formal obligations mentioned, and if not, adapt them as soon as possible, to avoid economic sanctions and reputational risk derived from their lack of implementation.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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