Spain: Workhour Recordkeeping Requirements Reduced

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By Brett Allan King

Under a recent Supreme Court ruling, employers in Spain will no long be required to record employee work hours, a spokesman for the Ministry of Employment and Social Security told Bloomberg BNA by telephone May 26.

“No one is going to be fined for failing to keep a record of regular hours worked by full-time employees, and any penalty that might be imposed for recordkeeping violations will be consistent with the Supreme Court ruling,” according to the spokesman, who preferred not to be cited by name.

Only Overtime Records Required

The Supreme Court decision ( Fes-UGT et al. v. Bankia, S.A., STS 1275/2017, Tribunal Supremo, Sala de lo Social, March 23, 2017) reversed a 2015 National Court ruling requiring employers to install systems to record staff working hours, a decision that led the employment ministry to conduct workplace inspections and levy fines of up to 6,250 euros ($6,981) for noncompliance.

Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, employers are now only required to keep records of overtime hours.

According to the ministry spokesman, a new “complementary order” reflecting Supreme Court doctrine will be issued “shortly.”

“When there’s a ruling by the Supreme Court, you align with the Supreme Court,” the ministry spokesman said.

The ministry is already applying the revised doctrine to workplace inspections as it works to adapt formal written instructions for employers.

Business Support

Employers have praised the Supreme Court ruling.

Any requirement to keep workhour records would be a step backward toward archaic employee monitoring systems, Jordi García Viña, labor relations director of the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), told Bloomberg BNA in an April 24 interview. In a more qualified appraisal, Mariola Sánchez, legal area director of Randstad, told Bloomberg BNA April 25 that the Supreme Court decision provides companies with a “lifeline” but doesn't guarantee them long-term security given the lack of unanimity among the magistrates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brett Allan King in Madrid at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at

For More Information

For more information on Spanish HR law and regulation, see the Spain primer.

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