Q. I have looked in the latest edition of You & the Law in Spain but I was unable to find the answer to some queries.
My employers are cutting our salaries without even letting us know the percentage in advance.
They simply remove 10 or 20 per cent, apparently as they see fit. Can they do this or is a period of notice required?
Despite all of us having the same contracts, people are being treated differently. Some get lower cuts than others. Is this fair or should there be equality for all?
My last question is: If I am not in agreement with the salary reduction, am I entitled to resign and take a pay-out of 20 working days for every year I have been with the company?
I am confused by the recent changes in the labour law and I feel my employer is taking advantage.
K.W. (Costa del Sol)
A. Without more detail I cannot give a specific answer to your questions but, in general, under the 2012 revised labour legislation, an employer who justifies a drop in his business can indeed be authorized to cut workers’ salaries up to 20 per cent or even more.
The company can also modify number of hours worked and working conditions. The law specifies advance notification of 15 days.
Yes, a worker who is identified as less productive, perhaps because he works in a company division that is less productive, can have his salary reduced more than another worker.
Finally, if the worker chooses not to accept the reduction, he can resign and take the pay-out of 20 days per year worked, with a maximum of two years.
The revised labour laws give employers a wide range of powers and Spanish companies are swiftly moving to take advantage of them.
Finally, these changes do not appear in the 2011 edition of You and the Law in Spain.
They will be covered on the santanabooks.com web site in the near future.