Spain: Expiry of the Action for Dismissal
The Supreme Court, on January 29, 2020 issued a ruling in which it determines, that in case the company notifies the dismissal letter via burofax, the “dies a quo” for the calculation of the term of the dismissal action, is the date when the worker effectively gets the burofax from the Post Office.
Article 59.3 of the Workers’ Statute (WS) provides that the exercise of the action against the dismissal shall expire twenty days after the dismissal occurred. Likewise, article 55.1 of the WS provides that the dismissal must be notified in writing to the worker, stating the facts that motivate it and the date on which it will take effect, so it cannot be understood to have occurred until the worker is aware of it.
In the case solved by the aforementioned ruling, what was questioned is whether the notification of the dismissal letter is to be understood as made on 13 July 2016 -the date the notice was left at the worker’s home in order to pick up the burofax at the Post Office- or, on 11 August 2016 -the date the worker picked up the burofax at the Post Office-. According to article 42 of Royal Decree 1829/1999, of December 3, which regulates the provision of Post Services, there is a 30-day period to collect the document.
The worker went to the Post Office to collect the burofax on 11 August 2016, within the 30-day period established in article 42 of RD 1829/1999. Therefore, he did not refuse to receive the dismissal letter, nor did he carry out delaying maneuvers, nor did he act in bad faith, but he picked up the communication from the company within the established term. Likewise, the court states that the date the worker became aware of the existence of the burofax is not recorded, and it’s unknown whether it was the same day the notice was left at the worker’s home or later.
Based on all above, the Court concludes that the “dies a quo” for the expiration period of the dismissal action must begin on the date the worker collected the burofax at the Post Office, on 11 August 2016, because that’s when he became aware of the dismissal.
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