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'Clocking in' now compulsory to curb unpaid overtime
13 May 2019 @ 20:34

COMPANIES across Spain – without exception – are now required to have all their workers check in and out daily so as to keep a record of the exact hours they put in, and they could be fined up to €6,250 if they fail to do so.

A move brought in by minister for work and pensions Magdalena Valerio in conjunction with Spain's two largest unions, the Labourers' Commissions (CCOO) and General Workers' Union (UGT), the idea is not to 'police' staff who arrive a few minutes late, but to end the long-running culture of unpaid extra hours.

It is estimated that in Spain, staff work 5.6 million hours in overtime every week, but that 2.9 million of these hours are unpaid.

These non-remunerated extra working hours mean employers save themselves salaries worth 100,000 jobs – so, even though paid overtime is often welcome, especially if it is voluntary, 'free' additional hours are contributing to unemployment levels in Spain.

The law came in yesterday (Sunday, May 12) but, except for restaurant, bar and hotel workers, would have had little impact in the first 24 hours – the real changes would not make themselves felt until the first Monday after the legislation entered into force.

This new legislation is said to be 'without prejudice to' Article 34 of the Workers' Statute, which allows for flexibility – a factor that is to be encouraged in Spanish firms, given unions' and the government's ongoing campaigns to improve work-life balance and to ensure adequate rest and time available for family duties.



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