The Supreme Court in its ruling of September 19, 2023, has declared that the company cannot pass on to the teleworker the times of interruption of the electricity network or disconnection to the Internet for reasons beyond their control.
The Supreme Court in its ruling of September 19, 2023, has stated that the company cannot pass on to the teleworker the times of interruption of the electrical network or disconnection to the Internet for reasons beyond their control. Neither can the time necessary to go to the toilet and attend to their physiological needs be counted as rest time, so that the recovery of the working day or reduction of salary for such situations is not applicable.
We inform you of an important ruling of the Supreme Court (SC) dated September 19, 2023, which states that a company cannot pass on to the teleworker the times of interruption of the electricity network or internet disconnection for reasons beyond their control, and not consider as rest time necessary to go to the toilet.
Rejection of the appeal filed by Extel Contact Center
In this judgment, the SC rejected the appeal filed by Extel Contact Center, a company specialized in telephone answering. The defendant company relied on the sectoral collective agreement of the Contact Center and argued that the workers in question were not subject to Royal Decree-Law 28/2020, so that the teleworking conditions agreed on March 12, 2020, prevailed. That agreement did not recognize as effective working time interruptions in the electricity or network supply in the workers’ homes.
Effective Working Time during Disconnections
The SC emphasizes that effective working time in the contact center sector must include disconnections caused by power or internet connection outages. It is held that working conditions in teleworking cannot be worse than those of face-to-face work, as power cuts do not adversely affect office workers.
Right to the Use of the Toilet in Teleworking
In addition, the ruling recognizes the right of teleworkers to use the toilet to attend to their physiological needs for as long as necessary. The company must record these breaks separately from other breaks and rest periods established in the collective bargaining agreement.
In summary, the Supreme Court ruling highlights the importance of safeguarding the rights of teleworkers, covering working time during interruptions, equalization of conditions with face-to-face work, the right to training and the use of the toilet without suffering adverse labor consequences.
For further information, please consult with Labor consulting