Disciplinary dismissal in SpainA serious non-fulfilment caused by employees may encourage managers to make a unilateral decision to terminate their employment contract through a disciplinary dismissal in Spain (or dismissal for misconduct).

When making the decision to carry out a disciplinary dismissal in Spain, it is important to comply with all of the legal requirements so that the dismissal is not declared unfair or void.

Grounds for a disciplinary dismissal in Spain

The Statute of Workers Rights (Estatuto de los Trabajadores), establishes the following as grounds for a disciplinary dismissal in Spain:

  • Repeated and unjustified absenteeism or lateness.
  • Undisciplined behaviour or disobedience.
  • Verbal or physical attacks on the manager or others.
  • Breach of contractual good faith or abuse of trust on the job.
  • Continuous and voluntary reduction in work performance.
  • Regular intoxication or drug addiction if it has a negative impact on work.
  • Harassment relating to race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation, and sexual harassment or harassment relating to gender towards the manager or other employees.

The collective bargaining agreement may establish other reasons or requisites to undertake or justify a disciplinary dismissal in Spain.

The employee must be sent written notification of the disciplinary dismissal in Spain. The letter must clearly provide the detailed facts that have led to such dismissal and its effective date. It is very important that the disciplinary dismissal letter is duly delivered to the employee, whether it be by hand or burofax, etc.

Prior notification by the company is not required for this kind of dismissal and there is no right to compensation.

The employee has 20 working days to challenge the disciplinary dismissal in Spain. It will be considered to be unfair if it does not meet the requirements established by law and void if it involves any of the discriminatory grounds regulated by the Constitution or law, or if the fundamental rights or public freedoms of the employee are breached.

When undertaking a disciplinary dismissal in Spain, it is really important to be appropriately advised so that it is not declared, or so that there are no grounds to declare it, unfair or void.

Teresa Abril

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