On 14 July 2021, the Spanish Government presented the Act on Digital Rights (“Carta de Derechos Digitales”).
Although it does not have a regulatory nature, the aim is to recognise the challenges of adapting rights to the digital environment, as well as to suggest principles and policies on these rights.
From an employment law perspective, the following rights stand out (some already existed, but new principles are added and some of the rights are developed):
- The right to digital disconnection, the right to rest and the right to a work-life balance.
- The protection of the rights to personal and family privacy, honor, self-image, data protection and secrecy of communications in the use of digital devices, video surveillance, sound recording, the use of monitoring tools, analytics and decision-making processes in human resources and labor relations and, in particular, social network analytics.
- The workers' legal representation shall be informed of the use of such devices or tools. This information shall cover the parameters, rules and instructions on which algorithms or artificial intelligence systems are based, that affect decision-making and that have an impact on working conditions and access to and maintenance of employment, including profiling.
- The protection of rights in the use of biometric and geolocation systems.
- The guarantee of rights against the use of automated decisions in personnel selection processes, by the employing entity of data analytics procedures, artificial intelligence and, in particular, those provided for in legislation.
- The lawful, fair, proportionate and transparent use of digital business controls.
- The right to be informed about the policy on the use of digital devices, including the criteria for possible use for private purposes.
- Protection against harassment on grounds of sex, discrimination and harassment at work using digital media.
- Digital skills for the purpose of acquiring the digital competences required in the workplace.
- Remote working will be developed with full respect for employees dignity and on a voluntary basis, guaranteeing in particular the right to privacy, the private sphere of the home, the rights of persons residing in the home, the right to reconciliation of personal and family life and the guarantee of the rights recognised in legislation and collective agreements.
- In the processes of digital transformation, the right to adequate training to enable adaptation to the new working conditions and the right of workers' legal representatives are to be informed in good time about the technological changes that are to take place.
- Collective Bargaining Agreements may establish additional guarantees of the rights and freedoms related to the processing of workers' personal data and the safeguarding of digital rights in the workplace, as well as providing for the participation of workers in the processes of digital transformation and in determining the employment consequences that this may entail.
- In any case, the development and use of algorithms and any other equivalent procedures in the workplace shall require a data protection impact assessment that shall include in its analysis the risks related to the ethical principles and rights related to artificial intelligence contained in this charter and, in particular, the gender perspective and the prohibition of any form of discrimination, both direct and indirect, with special attention to work-life balance rights.
- Employees shall be duly informed and trained on the conditions for using digital environments for work purposes. Particular attention should be paid to obligations aimed at ensuring the security and resilience of the systems.