Supreme Court rules workers must register when they go outside to smoke or drink coffee

The Supreme Court has announced a verdict in which it claims that the company forces workers to register every time they go outside to smoke or drink coffee. As elDiario.es has learned, the judges rejected the complaint filed by the CCOO union against the decision of the Galp gas stations to force these trips to be recorded in the register of working hours in their offices in Madrid, knowing that no. Time proved that these breaks were part of their effective working hours.

The union took the company to court in 2019 alleging several violations related to the implementation of the workday record. The CCOO condemned both the obligation to smoke or drink coffee during breaks, and the fact that business trips were considered as The working day is normal, not the total time invested in commuting, or that overtime is subject to the prior authorization of a superior rather than its effective completion.

The national court rejected the union’s first appeal, and now the Social Chamber of the Supreme Court confirms this rejection. Judges understand that it is not accredited that breaks for smoking or drinking coffee were part of the working day, so it is legal for Galp to be forced in and out. “A smoking or coffee break is not reflected in the actual report that it was effective working time, so it cannot be said that the system of registration, in this last paragraph, violated the stated principle,” argued the Supreme Court.

In this sense, says the Supreme Court, this aspect of the workday registration cannot be declared irregular unless it is stated in writing that smoking and coffee breaks are part of the workday, even if the company is flexible in this regard. The same is true, for example, of travel and commuting: “Nor were these considered to be conditions of employment that workers enjoyed,” he argues.

They reason with the reasoning that has already been done by the national court on the limit of workers to go smoke and drink coffee without deducting working time. Control of lathes existed, but it was used only for safety purposes, not to control the working day, and “this was because of a tolerant, business-like policy of trust whereby each worker was responsible for the development of the day committed. that workers left the facilities to smoke or drink coffee,” but this did not mean that these interruptions were considered effective work, “among other things, because there was no effective control and monitoring of the workday developed by each worker,” the court reasoned.

In this case, according to the judges, it would be necessary to prove that the company had implemented a record of working hours, fraudulently changed the previous terms and conditions, in this case removed coffee and cigarettes from the working day, which is not recorded as being part of the terms and conditions for Galpi workers.

Regarding overtime, the Supreme Court recalled that the 2019 rule, which introduced the mandatory registration of working hours, was intended to combat “illegal overtime work in excess of the maximum amount allowed, or against its non-payment or compensatory leave.” “Any mechanism that facilitates the fulfillment of this objective is an ideal means and in accordance with the provisions of the standard.”

Source: El Diario

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