Although clocking in and out at work may seem to be a widespread practice in only a few sectors - mostly industrial -, and despite the fact that scanning an ID card to prove the entry and exit time of employees in the office is nonsense for those companies that measure their team’s performance by goals achieved, the different sentences that established the mandatory nature of counting working hours in Spanish companies has generated social debate and different interpretations in the Spanish courts.
It's possible that as of today, you still don’t know if you must count or not the working hours of your employees in Spain. In this post we explain the latest news regarding this, following the last ruling of March 23, 2017 of the Spanish Supreme Court (in Spanish only).
This post is also available in Spanish.
Counting the daily workday for employees: yes or no?
The controversy on this issue began in 2013, when a Spanish Royal Decree (RD-LAW 16/2013, of December 20 - in Spanish only) was enacted that incorporated into the Workers’ Statute the obligation to count the daily hours for part-time employees with the objective of encouraging stable recruitment and improving employability.
From then onward, there has been a flow of verdicts from the Spanish National Audience, which extended that obligation to all workers, regardless of the type of contract or potential overtime hours.
Sentences from the Spanish National Audience regarding counting working hours (in Spanish only):
The idea was to pave the way for greater transparency in human resources management, in order to avoid fraud in overtime hours and to ensure proper monitoring, retribution and payment for said work.
Following these sentences, employers were required to indicate the distribution of workday hours for employees under a contract, for both part-time and full-time employees, without exceptions. Additionally, they established as mandatory to make a monthly calculation of regular, complementary and extraordinary hours, and deliver it to employees each month along with their payslip.
The last sentence of March 23, 2017 from the Spanish Supreme Court: what changes does it establish?
Following the ruling of March 23, 2017 of the Spanish Supreme Court (link in Spanish only), companies are again exempted to maintain a record of the working hours of their entire team to meet compliance with the working day and the agreed working hours. And the “employer’s obligation to record - register- only extends to overtime”.
The Supreme Court therefore annulled the previous requirement to keep a monthly record of all working hours, whose application was considered impractical and created many problems for companies when implementing it.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling of March 23, 2017, we return to the situation before the debate opened by the above mentioned rulings from the National Audience: Spanish companies should only register the working hours of part-time employees and overtime hours from the rest of the team.
How to get employees’ signature on their timesheets, in a fast and legal way?
Although we have returned to the previous situation, for companies with a large workforce, offices spread throughout different regions or countries, or with a part of employees working remotely, managing employees’ timeslip can be tricky. Additionally, if companies want each employee to sign their timeslip as a proof of his/her agreement, this is even more complicated, expensive and slow.
In order to solve this specific process, at Signaturit we offer an electronic signature solution that allows to send an email to each part-time employee with their daily timeslip, so that he/she can sign it from a desktop computer, a laptop or from a tablet or smartphone.
To use this tool, employees don't need to register for any service, nor visit the website of a third party nor download an application. They only need a device - computer, tablet or mobile - with Internet access.
Once the employee has signed the timeslip, given his/her proof of agreement with it, he/she gets a signed copy per email, and the company also receives a signed copy on Signaturit’s dashboard, together with an audit trail that records all the electronic evidences generated during the signing process, like day, time, location, IP address, web browser, etc.
eSignatures made with Signaturit are legal,
If you're interested in using our eSignature solution for this situation, we can help.
Contact us if you need more information about this regulation and our electronic signature solution, that is the perfect digital tool for any HR department in Spain to solve this process quickly, easily and legally.
This post is also available in Spanish.