1. ANNUAL LEAVE THAT EXCEEDS THE MINIMUM FOUR WEEKS MAY NOT BE CARRIED OVER WHEN THE EMPLOYEE IS UNABLE TO WORK DUE TO SICKNESS

Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Grand Chamber) of 19 November 2019, Cases C-609/17 and C-610/17

The Court of Justice of the European Union has stated that each Member State should decide whether, through national rules or collective bargaining agreements, employees are entitled to take paid annual leave exceeding the minimum period of four weeks, as well as the conditions for granting and extinguishing those additional days of leave.

Consequently, two distinct areas of holiday entitlement have been created, (i) the minimum period of four weeks guaranteed by Directive 2003/88 and covered by the guarantees set out in EU law, and (ii) the additional period granted by the national rules of each Member State that fall outside the scope of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2. THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS alters ITS JUDGMENT

Judgment of European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) of 17 October 2019 in López Ribalda and others v. Spain (Applications Nos. 1874/13 and 8567/13)

According to the European Court of Human Rights, neither Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights nor Article 6.1 (right to a fair hearing in the event of a dismissal) were violated when several employees, who were recorded with covert video surveillance cameras, were dismissed for stealing at the workplace.

3. THE OBJECTIVE DISMISSAL OF AN EMPLOYEE FOR JUSTIFIED BUT SPORADIC ABSENCES FROM WORK IS CONSTITUTIONAL

Judgment of the plenary of the Constitutional Court of 16 October 2019

The Constitutional Court has stated that a legal provision that authorises an employer to terminate a labour relationship due to absenteeism derived from short and sporadic illnesses by an employee is constitutional. The action of unconstitutionality was brought after a company dismissed an employee who had been absent from work for more than twenty percent of her working hours in a two-month period.

The Constitutional Court has clarified that with regard to objective dismissal for absenteeism, the lawmaker intended to strike a balance between the legitimate interest of the company in mitigating the onerous nature of absences from work, derived from the defence of productivity and business freedom, and protecting the health and safety of employees.

4. COMPENSATION for TERMINATION OF A senior executive CONTRACT FOLLOWING the EMPLOYER’s WITHDRAWAL from the contract IS TAX-EXEMPT

Judgment of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of 5 November 2019

The Supreme Court has clarified that if a senior executive contract is terminated due to the employer’s withdrawal, the severance pay of seven days' salary per year of employment is exempt from personal income tax.

5. NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE EMPLOYEES with THE RESULTS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL during A COLLECTIVE DISMISSAL PROCEDURE CONSULTATION PERIOD

Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the Spanish National Court of 16 October 2019

The Spanish National Court has clarified that employers are under no obligation to provide employees potentially affected by a collective dismissal with their performance appraisals during the consultation period because article 51 of the Statute of Workers (on collective dismissals) is silent on this matter. Employers are only compelled to specify the criteria that they will use to select the employees that will be dismissed under the collective dismissal procedure.

6. DISMISSING an EMPLOYEE for the UNION ACTIVITY OF HER PARTNER IS NULL

Judgment of the Labour Chamber of the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands of 29 August 2019

The High Court has held that an employee’s disciplinary dismissal for intentional and continual decline in work performance is null because it was discriminatory as it was based on the her partner’s ties to a trade union. The High Court has considered the dismissal to be a reprisal for the employee's partner having filed a complaint with the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate and taken legal action against the company in exercising his trade union activity.

7. DISMISSING AN EMPLOYEE FOR SUPERVENING Incompetence CANNOT BE BASED solely on A REPORT BY the EXTERNAL PREVENTION SERVICEs

Judgment of the Labour Chamber High Court of Justice of the Basque Country of 11 June 2019

The High Court has held that an employee cannot be dismissed for supervening incompetence based solely on a medical report issued by the external prevention services that certifies the employee's lack of skill. Dismissals on these grounds require more compelling evidence and detailed information about the employee’s incompetence. The High Court has declared the dismissal unfair as the employment contract had been terminated based exclusively on what the High Court has considered to be secondary information.