Government repeals dismissal for accumulation of medical leave

The Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday a royal decree law that eliminates the Article 52.d of the Workers' Statute which allowed dismissal for absenteeism by accumulating justified medical leave.

As explained by the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, in the press conference following the Council of Ministers this legislation "Prevents the most vulnerable from being fired" for having "justified sick leave".

With this initiative, Díaz said: “We are dismantling the labor reform of the PP”, repealing an “anomaly or exceptionality of Spain in relation to surrounding countries that lack such a precept”.

The minister thanked the Government and the social partners for their attitude towards this need to provide “legal certainty” to the workers. Díaz has assured that the approved initiative is not retroactive, something that he regrets because “I know about the urgent need and the unease of the workers who are affected by this rule”, which comes into force tomorrow.

Article 52.d supports the objective dismissal “for lack of assistance to work, even justified but intermittent, reaching 20% ​​of the working days in two consecutive months, provided that the total lack of assistance in the previous twelve months reaches 5% of working days, or 25% in four discontinuous months within a twelve month period ”.

Constitutional Judgment

The suppression of 52.d comes after the Constitutional Court, in a ruling known at the end of October, will endorse the termination of the employment contract for objective reasons if there are justified but intermittent absence. What has been approved today is the repeal of the article, not its modification or its replacement by another text.

In this way, the dismissal for accumulation of justified medical leave will cease to be an objective cause for the dismissal of a worker. This does not mean that an entrepreneur cannot fire someone from his or her staff for lack of assistance or unpunctuality, as he could argue this reason for carrying out what is known as disciplinary dismissal.

Union satisfaction and some criticism of the CEOE

The repeal of this article has not been part of the social dialogue, although the minister did inform unions and businessmen of its approval. While CCOO and UGT have celebrated the approval of this Royal Decree-Law, in some sectors of the CEOE it is not welcomed.

The president of the employer, Antonio Garamendi, it has not opposed the repeal of this article, although it has stated that the first seven days of discharge, especially in the case of SMEs, "paid by the Administration".

In his opinion, it would be necessary to go deeper into the subject of absenteeism "because professional absenteeism is a reality in Spain" For his part, the president of the Catalan employers' association Foment del Treball and vice president of the CEOE, Josep Sánchez Llibre, has shown his opposition to the repeal of this article.

The Minister of Labor believes that corporate rejection of this measure is a minority and has made it clear that the Government has the obligation to legislate "to correct what is already a source of European law." Agencies


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