The Distance Work Act (or teleworking) is already on its way to the Senate, after being approved by Congress this Tuesday, and it does so with an important novelty. The Bill that the Parliamentary Labor Commission has given the green light includes an amendment that updates the penalties of the Labor Inspection. The amounts of the fines were not reviewed since 2007. The amendment, presented by PSOE and United We Can, increases the sanctions by 20%, up to a maximum of 983,736 euros.
What should the company pay and the rights and duties of employees: this is the new Telework Law
The Remote Work Bill that Congress has endorsed today comes from the Royal Decree Law on Teleworking that the Government approved on September 22, but that later the Lower House agreed that it be processed as law.
In the parliamentary process, political groups have been able to add amendments to the legal text. For example, the one mentioned on the sanctions of the Labor Inspection of the parties that support the coalition Executive, but also other amendments directly related to teleworking, such as some techniques promoted by Ciudadanos and that of the Republican parliamentary group (ERC) that adds the “age, seniority or professional group or disability” to the reasons of discrimination that companies must avoid in the implementation of remote work, among others.
The standard considers regular distance work that which is provided, in a reference period of three months, a minimum of 30% of the working day or the equivalent proportional percentage depending on the duration of the employment contract. In addition, this type of work will be voluntary and reversible for both the worker and the employer. Here you can consult some of the keys to regulation, that the Ministry of Labor agreed with businessmen and unions.
Among the most prominent amendments in relation to teleworking, there are several presented by ERC, such as the one that determines that “in the case of working people with disabilities, the company will ensure that these means, equipment and tools, including digital ones, are universally accessible, to avoid any exclusion for this reason “. A new additional provision is also added whereby “in distance work, the address of reference (…) will be considered as the one that appears as such in the employment contract and, failing that, the address of the company or of the center or physical place of work “.
Fines frozen since 2007
The PSOE and United We can justify the amendment that updates the sanctions of the Labor Inspection “to guarantee their effectiveness, with respect to the principle of proportionality, given that said sanctions have been subject to a single review to date, by means of the Royal Decree 306/2007, of March 2 “. In other words, despite the evolution of prices in these 14 years, the fines for labor offenses had remained unchanged.
The increase in the sanctions of the labor authority is a constant claim of the professional unions of labor inspectors, as well as of the majority union centrals, CCOO and UGT. The Ministry of Labor, led by Vice President Yolanda Díaz, had promised to approve this measure, but finally the parties that support the coalition government have decided to include the update already in an amendment to this bill, which accelerates its approval. .
Both parties have included another amendment, which has also gone ahead this Tuesday, which specifies that the infractions committed “prior to the entry into force of this rule will be sanctioned according to the sanctioning amounts provided prior to that date.”
These are the sanctions approved by Congress
Next, it is detailed how the bulk of the sanctions of article 40 of the LISOS (Law on Infractions and Sanctions in the Social Order) that the Lower House has sent to the Senate remain, after the 20% increase.
Regarding infractions in labor relations and employment, in Social Security matters, with some exceptions, these fines are established:
a) The minor ones, in their minimum degree, with fines of 70 to 150 euros; in its medium grade, from 151 to 370 euros; and in its maximum degree, from 371 to 750 euros.
b) The serious ones with a fine, in its minimum degree, of 751 to 1,500 euros, in its average degree of 1,501 to 3,750 euros; and in its maximum degree from 3,751 to 7,500 euros.
c) Very serious with a fine, in its minimum degree, of 7,501 to 30,000 euros; in its average grade from 30,001 to 120,005 euros; and in its maximum degree from 120,006 euros to 225,018 euros.
On the other hand, infractions in the field of prevention of occupational risks will be sanctioned:
a) The minor ones, in their minimum degree, with a fine of 45 to 485 euros; in its medium grade, from 486 to 975 euros; and in its maximum degree, from 976 to 2,450 euros.
b) The serious ones with a fine, in its minimum degree, from 2,451 to 9,830 euros; in its medium grade, from 9,831 to 24,585 euros; and in its maximum degree, from 24,586 to 49,180 euros.
c) The very serious with a fine, in its minimum degree, from 49,181 to 196,745 euros; in its medium grade, from 196,746 to 491,865 euros; and in its maximum degree, from 491,866 to 983,736 euros.