Home / Publications / Supreme Court rules on content of employment contract...

Supreme Court rules on content of employment contract basic copies

September 2021

César Navarro and Elena Esparza

In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court decided that the basic copies of employment contracts that companies submit to their employees' legal representative should include the real wage that has been agreed upon and not the phrase "as agreed", which appears on the original employment contract.

Under employment law, companies must submit such basic copies if their employees have a legal representation, but are not obliged to provide information different from that of the original employment contract as this would breach article 8.4 of the Workers' Statute (WS).

Prior to the Supreme Court's decision, the Federation of Industry, Construction and Agriculture of the General Union of Workers (UGT FICA) had lodged a complaint with the Labour Chamber of the National Court concerning a company that it believed to be in breach of article 8.4.

The complaint was dismissed because the defending company was found to have provided basic copies of employment contracts to the workers' legal representative which included wage details and were strictly limited to the content of the original contracts.

In view of the above, UGT FICA filed a claim to the Supreme Court stating again that the company was in breach of article 8.4. The claim argued that as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the basic copies should state the real wage agreed upon, rather than the expression "as agreed" or the minimum wage.

Despite considering the claims lodged with the Supreme Court to be inadmissible on general terms, the Public Prosecution Service mentioned in their report on the matter that the workers' legal representative should be able to establish whether the company was complying with gender equality laws. However, the Supreme Court settled this issue by pointing out that the legal representatives had access to this information through the mandatory salary register kept by the defending company. This register includes information on gender pay equality, and therefore it was not necessary for it to appear in the basic copy of an employment contract.

The Supreme Court pointed out that article 8.4 states that the content of an employment contract (except for national identity number, address, marital status or any other private information) should be reflected in the basic copy. Furthermore, it stated that many courts had concluded in the past that information relating to remuneration or wages is not private information that should be excluded from these basic copies.

However, despite the existence of this obligation, the law does not require companies to provide any additional information.

Considering the above, the Supreme Court decided that the basic copies limited to the original content of the employment agreements aligned with the definition and description of such documents in case law.

Therefore, the Supreme Court upheld the National Court's decision and dismissed the claim.

Authors

Portrait of César Navarro
César Navarro
Partner
Madrid
Portrait of Elena Esparza
Elena Esparza
Partner
Madrid