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Legislative updates- Spain, UK and Belgium. Everything you need to know

Spain

From the 12th of May 2019, it became a legal obligation in Spain that companies must have a control and a record of the working days for all employees.

 

What does this mean?

This new requirement means that a working hour registration must be completed daily and has to include:

  • The time the employee begins their shift
  • The time they finish.

This is mandatory for all companies operating in Spain.

 

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, there are some employees who are excluded from this law.

  • Senior management staff (as defined in article 2.1 a of ET (Estatuo de los Trabajadores, or Statute of Workers)
  • Part-time workers who already track their hours
  • Workers with special or variable work hours (e.g. drivers)
  • Workers who are excluded from the Statute of Workers (e.g., self-employed, members of work cooperatives)

Companies are also required to register any employees’ absences such as annual leave, paid leave and  sick leave.

According to the Labor legislation, it is mandatory that companies keep these records for at least 4 years and provide these reports to the Spanish Authorities if and when required.

While the forms are the company’s responsibility, employees must sign these forms.

 

How often do employees have to sign these forms?

Daily – however the procedure will have to be agreed between company and worker’s representatives if applicable

This new change is strictly an internal HR procedure and will not be visible on employee pay slips.

 

Who is affected?

This new law  must be applied by all companies based in Spain, with no exceptions,

It is applicable to all companies with activity and employees registered in Spain.

For example, if you are a US company but have a branch in Spain, it is still applicable to your office in Spain.

 

What are the implications of non-compliance?

In the case of not having the required reports with registered working hours included, the company in question could receive a penalty for serious infraction (between €625-€6250).

 

Where can I find out more information?

You can read more about the new legislation on our in-country partners Auxadi’s blog here.

 

United Kingdom

As of April 6th, 2019, a new law was introduced, requiring employers to include additional information on pay slips.

Prior to this, workers in the UK were left in the dark about how much they’re paying in national insurance, tax and their pensions because of a law that didn’t guarantee them written proof of their pay.

Under new requirements, all employers must provide pay slips to all ‘workers’’ and show the hours on pay slips whereby the pay varies by the amount of time worked.

A pay slip may be provided in either:

1) A physical format or

2) An electronic copy that the worker can access and print.

 

Who is entitled to this?

The statutory right to receive an itemised payslip has been extended to all ‘workers’.

This right currently only applies to employees; a sub-category of workers.

You can establish whether a person is a worker on the official UK government website under the ‘Employment Status’ section.

 

Are there any exclusions?

Yes – Members of the armed forces or merchant sea men and women are excluded from these changes.

 

What new information should I expect to see on a pay slip?

Additional information must be shown on a pay slip for workers whose pay varies depending on the number of hours they have worked.

Where this applies, the amount of time worked must be shown clearly.

For example, where a worker has a fixed salary each month, but works variable overtime with additional pay at an hourly rate, only the hours of overtime need to be presented.

If a worker’s pay does not vary by time worked, there is no need to include an hourly figure to account for variations in pay caused by taking unpaid leave or being on statutory sick pay.

However, if an employee is paid according to the time worked and takes unpaid leave or receives statutory sick pay, any hours they did work will still need to be included on their pay slip.

 

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

If a worker thinks they have not received a pay slip, or their pay slip is missing the required information, they may bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal. 

 

Where can I find out more information?

You can read more about the new changes to pay slip requirements on the UK official government website under ‘Payslips’.

 

Belgium

Starting from June 1st 2019, the highly anticipated flexibilisation of parental leave and leave for medical assistance comes into effect in Belgium.

 

Parental leave- what are the new changes?

The introduction of the 1/10th parental leave.

Under this new legislation, an employee with children younger than 12 years old (21 for a child with a disability) can take parental leave under certain conditions. The employee now has the option to reduce their working time by 20%, by half or even full time.

This new law brings an additional option for full time employees to reduce their activities by 1/10th and to take parental leave by either half a day per week or a full day every fortnight.

This specific working time reduction can be applied for 40 months in total, to be taken in periods of 10, 20, 30 or 40 months.

 

If I meet the conditions, am I automatically entitled to this leave?

No. Unlike other types of parental leave, irrespective to you meeting the conditions, your employer’s consent will still be required.

 

Can I combine different types of parental leave?

Yes. You can combine the different types of parental leave (full time, 1/2nd, 1/5th, 1/10th) and alternate between each

 

What exactly is full-time parental leave?

Currently, an employee can suspend their working time for 4 months, to be taken in periods of at least 1 month.

With this new legislation, employees can now suspend their working time in periods of one week instead, providing their employer is in agreement.

This means that the employee can suspend their activities for a maximum of 16 weeks.

 

 What exactly is half-time parental leave?

As it stands, full time employees can suspend their working time by half for 8 months, to be taken in minimum periods of 2 months.

From now on, the minimum period will be reduced to 1 month, provided their employer agrees to this.

As parental leave is split in periods of weeks and months, it is possible that at the end of the parental leave, the employee has a remaining balance of less than 4 weeks. In this case, the employee can take the balance without the prior approval from their employer.

 

Medical assistance- what are the changes?

Under certain conditions, an employee may take leave to provide palliative care for a severely ill family member or relative according to the following conditions:

  1. Currently, an employee can take leave up to a maximum of 12 months per patient, to be taken in periods of minimum 1 month, maximum 3 months. From now on, the employee can take this leave in periods of weeks, provided that their employer agrees.
  2. There are no changes for the half-time and the 1/5th These types of leave are to be taken in the periods of minimum 1 month.

Is there anything else I should know?

If an employer does refuse to grant the new entitlement to the 1/10th parental leave or the new flexible approach to take leave to provide palliative care, he needs to inform the employee in writing.

The employee will be eligible to an indemnity from the Belgian unemployment authorities (RVA/ONEM), this indemnity will be paid in the function of the chosen type of employment suspension.

 

Where can I get more information?

For more information read our in-country partner ProPay’s blog here.

This blog was written by Immedis with assistance from our partners Auxadi, Propay and information from HMRC.

If you have any questions on your global tax & payroll, get in touch to speak to a member of the Immedis team for more information by email on info@immedis.com