The Supreme Court endorses that you have to sign in during the break to smoke or have a coffee

Companies can force workers to sign in during the break to smoke, have a coffee or have breakfast, according to a ruling of the Supreme Court (TS) of February 22, known this Thursday.

The decision comes as a result of a CC.OO appeal. against the Galp gas station company for forcing people to sign in during breaks to smoke or drink coffee and for other issues in the day’s record. The appeal was rejected at a first level by the National Court, for which reason it raised the matter to the Supreme Court. In its ruling, the Supreme Court argues that it is not proven that these breaks counted as a working day before a change in the company’s criteria, certifying the legality of Galp’s measure, as stated in the document advanced by elDaily and to which you have had access The vanguard.


Count it as effective work, the big question

In the original appeal, the signings, introduced in 2019, were requested to be annulled, because before “they were integrated as work time within the day and they were not signed or deducted.” The change came with the entry into force of the obligation to record the day. The company took advantage of the milestone to introduce these changes, which, for example, implied that the commercials began to carry out the control through an app.

“The company cannot take advantage of the implementation of a working day registration instrument to review the calculation rules of the same since this would constitute a substantial modification of the working conditions,” the appellant maintained. “Previously, incidents such as going out for a moment to smoke, have a coffee, were not recorded or counted as rest time or non-work time,” he said in the appeal to the CCOO National Court.

According to the union, this type of breaks went from being effective work time to rest time, for which a posteriori hourly recovery is required, with an extension of the working day if necessary.

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Writing | Agencies

The problem was that the only control of the workers before the time registration was the passage through security lathes in the case of office employees, while the commercial ones did not have any registration. The working day was established at 7 hours and 45 minutes of “actual work”. In the case of commercial personnel, there was “flexible hours” to complete the day and in the offices there was a margin of entry hours and a one-hour break for lunch. Given this flexibility of the schedule, the breaks were admitted, but it was not specified if they were an effective day or not, understands the Supreme Court.

The Court rejects the appeal because “these most beneficial conditions” are not previously accredited, the pre-existing situation. “The tolerance of the company in which the workers left the facilities for those purposes (the breaks) does not imply that the time invested in it was effective work, if only because it was not under certain control.”

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