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First sentence in Spain that shields compensation for dismissal of domestic workers

The owner of court 32 of the social of Barcelona has issued the first sentence in Spain that shields the compensation by dismissal for the domestic workers. The ruling applies recent European jurisprudence, according to which this group with a special regime within Social Security, which lacks unemployment benefits and has limited rights in relation to severance pay, is discriminated against by current labor regulations. The Barcelona magistrate has ruled in favor of an applicant and has recognized her right to access the Guaranteed salary fund (Fogasa) to collect compensation for dismissal in the event that the employer proves insolvency. The sentence, won by the Col•lectiu Ronda and to which EL PERIÓDICO, a newspaper that belongs to the same group as this medium, has had, recognizes a payment of €6,003 to the affected. The opinion comes from a court of first instance and is appealable by Fogasa, that is, the State.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on February 24 that the Spanish regulations violate the European directive on equality in Social Security matters by denying domestic workers the possibility of contributing for unemployment and, consequently, collecting it later if they lose their job. The European magistrates consider that the current legislation incurs discrimination based on sex, while 9 out of 10 domestic workers they are women. After the ruling, the Government has accelerated its work to correct the current fit of this group in the Social Security system.

And that European sentence is already having effects on the reality of the Spanish courts. The titular magistrate of number 32 of the Barcelona social, in a ruling dated March 14 and to which EL PERIÓDICO has had access, echoes said jurisprudence to rule on another lawsuit. The case refers to a domestic worker who was fired after seven years of service, verbal by her employer, without prior notice and without any compensation, for which the dismissed woman filed a complaint with the court. Being the first ruling in Spain, as explained by Ronda, which recognizes access to fogasa to domestic workers.

“Equal treatment and opportunities”

“The legislative option of excluding domestic employees from unemployment benefits granted by the Spanish General Social Security Scheme does not seem to be applied consistently and systematically compared to other groups of workers who enjoy these same benefits despite presenting features and working conditions analogous”, dictates the ruling of the CJEU, reproduced by the Barcelona magistrate.

The judge understands that, despite the fact that the European case refers to the right to unemployment benefits and hers to the right to compensation from Fogasa, both coincide in the fact that domestic workers have been denied access to both due to a legislative decision not justified. And that this incurs indirect gender discrimination, since the majority of the group are women and it is detrimental to the “equal treatment and opportunities”. “Although it is true that this coverage is not provided for this group, the reality is that their exclusion is not justified. […] And as such, the judicial body (regardless of desirable legislative actions) must correct it, “says the judge. And it forces the public fund Fogasa to pay 6,003 euros in compensation to the plaintiff worker.