In a 16 December 2021 judgment,(1) the High Court of Justice of Madrid had to determine whether the failure to log on when working from home was comparable to an unjustified work absence and, therefore, grounds for dismissal.

In the case at hand, an employee had been working remotely from March to May 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic. Her company dismissed her on disciplinary grounds, arguing that, they had discovered that she had not been logged on to the company's computer system for several days after noticing that she had not been carrying out her duties. The company claimed that this was a serious offence under the applicable collective bargaining agreement, which prohibited the failure to "attend work more than two days within the same month without a good reason".

The employee challenged the company's decision; however, the court of first instance declared the dismissal of the employee as fair. However, the employee appealed the decision, requesting the dismissal to be declared as unfair.

In her appeal, the employee claimed that there were numerous documents and phone records that proved she had carried out work-related tasks on the dates she had been accused of not logging on.

However, the Court argued that, given the executive nature of the employee's role in the company, it was not credible that she could carry out her tasks using only her phone, as there was no evidence that she could complete her work without an internet connection or that there were any connectivity issues that prevented her from accessing the company's system.

After clarifying the above, the Court determined that consistent failure to log on during the days she was working from home was comparable to unjustified work absences, as well as defrauding those who had entrusted the managerial role to her, because she had not performed her typical workplace duties from home.

Based on the above reasons, the Court considered the dismissal to be fair, which confirmed the court of first instance's ruling.

For further information on this topic please contact César Navarro or Cristina Ridruejo at CMS Albiñana & Suarez de Lezo by telephone (+34 91 451 9300) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The CMS Albiñana & Suarez de Lezo website can be accessed at


(1) ECLI: ES:TSJM:2021:14473.