New Whistleblowing Legislation for European Union

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Juan Bonilla, Partner and Ana Campos, Senior Associate – CUATRECASAS

On April 16, 2019, the European Parliament passed a directive on the “Protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law.” This legislation adopts the protection of whistleblowers as a key element in the fight against corruption, cartels, and corporate incompliance. Consequently, it sets forth the obligation to establish internal and external reporting channels as well as an explicit prohibition of retaliation. The obligation of establishing an internal channel affects all legal entities of the public sector and legal entities of the private sector with more than 50 employees. Once published, Member States must transpose this directive within two years.

Obligation to Provide Information on Conditions of Employment

New Legislation Enacted

Authors: Juan Bonilla, Partner and Ana Campos, Senior Associate – CUATRECASAS

The European Parliament has passed a directive on “transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union,” to promote more secure and predictable employment while ensuring labor market adaptability and improving working and living conditions. The directive sets forth minimum rights for employees regarding information about the employment relationship (its duration, compensation, trial period, training, working calendar, social security institutions, etc.). In case the company fails to provide this information, employees shall benefit of any more favorable provisions existing in the Member State. Namely: presumption of indefinite term employment relationship, no trial period or full time employment. Once published, Member States must transpose this directive within two years.

Registration of Daily Working Time

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Juan Bonilla, Partner and Ana Campos, Senior Associate – CUATRECASAS

On May 14, 2019, the European Court of Justice ruled on a preliminary ruling requested by the Spanish National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) that all Member States must require employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system registering the effective daily working time per employee. Prior to this court ruling, Spain modified the Workers’ Statute Act, with effective date of May 12, 2019, requiring that all employers register the start and end of employees’ daily working time to verify compliance with maximum daily and weekly working time, and with mandatory resting periods.

Time Spent Voluntarily on Company Events is Working Time

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: Juan Bonilla, Partner and Ana Campos, Senior Associate – CUATRECASAS

The Spanish Supreme Court (Tribunal Supremo) has ruled that time spent outside working hours in company events with clients is working time, even when assistance to such events is willingly decided by the employee. This decision has given rise to some controversy, and has come at a sensitive time, as the obligation to register working time has become compulsory not only in Spain, but in the whole European Union, in order to guarantee compliance with maximum daily and weekly working time, and with mandatory resting periods.