In a 23 March 2022 judgment,(1) the Supreme Court had to decide whether the dismissal of an employee who worked for multiple companies within a group was valid, as she had been dismissed by only one of the companies. The company cited economic and organisational reasons in its dismissal letter to the employee.

The worker contested the dismissal.

The court of first instance declared that the two co-defendant companies constituted a group of companies for employment purposes and classified the dismissal as unfair because it only contained economic information about one of the companies. The judgment was upheld on appeal.

The company appealed this judgment for the unification of doctrine.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court recalled its consolidated doctrine, indicating that, when it comes to the allegation of an economic cause in a collective or objective dismissal, the existence of negative economic circumstances entails assessing the company as a whole.

In such cases, segmenting the company is not appropriate, as the purpose of the dismissal measure is to resolve the company's issues and ensure operations can continue.

Based on the doctrine, the Supreme Court determined that a dismissal for economic reasons that is ordered by a group of companies implies that the effect of continuing to hire the employee in question would have a negative effect on the group as a whole.

Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that the dismissal letter had to refer to the economic situation of the group, not just one of its companies. It is, therefore, a legal requirement when making such dismissals and is stipulated under article 53.1(a) of the Workers' Statute.

Given that there was evidence that the group was jointly and severally liable for the consequences of the termination of the employment contract, not including economic information of all companies in the letter of dismissal meant that its content could not be considered sufficient.

For all the above reasons, the Supreme Court upheld the claim that the worker's dismissal was unlawful.

For further information on this topic please contact César Navarro or Guillermo García 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:TS: 2022:1223.