The Community of Madrid has been obliged to compensate almost 7,000 euros to a worker who refused a paid leave to take care of his wife, severely handicapped after suffering a head injury. The woman needed her help for daily basic activities such as getting up, walking or going to bed. The Superior Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJ) has rejected the appeal of the entity (in a judgment that you can consult here) and reminds him that caring for a sick wife is a right and duty of the worker, as well as an elementary duty of human solidarity.
The worker requested the extraordinary permit corresponding by agreement to the labor personnel of the Community of Madrid, which allows workers to enjoy up to fifteen days extendable in cases of force majeure or very serious illness or accident of relatives or people living with the worker and demand care that can not be provided by another person or institution.
The employer denied the permit on the understanding that she was not in an exceptional situation and suggested that she use the days of free disposal or that she request a measure of time flexibility. After the refusal, the worker requested a leave of absence, which was granted, bringing his case to the attention of the Committee.
The TSJ agrees with the criterion of the court of the social, that gave the reason to the plaintiff. As it emphasizes in the sentence, the arguments used by the Community of Madrid to deny the permission requested by the worker did not make sense. The situation of the worker, explain the magistrates, was not arranged with a simple reduction of working hours or partial assistance.
The employee's family situation was exceptional and met the budgets to qualify for the permit. As required by the agreement, he could not delegate the care of his wife to another person or institution since the marriage had no older children. There is also the circumstance that the worker had already exhausted all possible permits, so that he had been obliged to request a leave of absence, without receiving a salary, with reservation of a job. This fact reinforces even more, the magistrates point out, from a logical point of view, the fact that there was no person or institution nearby that could take care of his wife.
Among the arguments of the sentence, the court emphasizes that the worker, as a spouse, is the one obliged to attend to it, morally and legally, and to take care of it in the most essential acts of life "for an elementary duty of human solidarity". In today's social reality, he adds, the reconciliation of personal, work and family life is a rising value, "the spouses must respect and help each other and act in the interest of the family." That is, for magistrates, taking care of the sick wife is not only a duty, but a right.