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Spain: Salary complements must be paid even during the holiday period

The Trade Union “Comisiones Obreras” promoted a claim for collective dispute against an association of employers in the health sector seeking a declaration establishing the right of all affected workers to be paid, during the holidays, the salary complements which they previously

The High Court of Justice accepted the claim and sentenced the defendant to pay the workers the compensation corresponding to the average of all salary complements, among which are the hours of attendance, the nightly bonus and the holiday bonus. The employer’s association disagreed with the Court’s ruling and filed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Finally, the Supreme Court, in its ruling of 23 April, resolved and ratified the admissibility of paying salary complements during holidays, as it understood that they were usual within the company’s ordinary activity, stating that “the complement should be considered usual, if it has been earned during six or more months within the eleven months preceding holidays or in the same proportion if the provision of services were inferior”.

In conclusion, if the applicable collective agreement does not include terms specifying the provisions to be provided, the Supreme Court considers that workers have the right to receive the average of salary complements during the holidays, when the such compliments have been paid on a regular basis, that is, when the workers received said payments for six or more months, within the preceding eleven months.