Draft law approved to implement the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive

8 February 2024 4 min read

At a glance

  • The Council of Ministers has now approved the draft law implementing the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive (TPWC Directive).
  • The new law will introduce a right to ‘foreseeable working conditions’, which will require employees to be told their working patterns in advance and any criteria which might cause these to change.
  • Employment contracts, and any changes to the terms, will need to be in writing.
  • Restrictions will apply to the duration of probationary periods.
  • Unless there is objective justification, employees must not be prohibited from working for multiple employers and must not be treated unfavourably for doing so.

On 6 February 2024, the Council of Ministers approved the preliminary draft law for the transposition of the TPWC Directive.  This new law will introduce a range of new employment law provisions including:

'Foreseeable working conditions'

  • The new law introduces into Article 4 of the Workers' Statute the right to ‘foreseeable working conditions’. This will require employees to be told their working patterns in advance and, where appropriate, any criteria which might cause these to change.

Requirement for employment contracts to be in writing

  • Employers will be required to record employment contracts in writing, regardless of their duration.
  • Employees must be given written information if any essential elements of the employment relationship are changed. Essential working conditions are considered to be those relating to:
    • The duration of the contract;
    • The length of the working day and its pattern; and
    • The length of the probationary period.
  • If employers do not comply with the provision of the mandatory information, contracts will be presumed to be indefinite and on a full-time basis.

Working time of part-time employees

  • Employers will be required to record the working time of part-time employees on a daily basis, including the employees’ specific start and finish times.
  • Employers will not be able to impose on employees the conversion of a full-time job into a part-time job or vice versa, or the increase or decrease of hours in part-time work; this must always be voluntary for the employee.
  • Employers must inform part-time employees of the existence of vacant jobs, so that they can make requests for conversion to a full-time contract, in accordance with the procedures established in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
  • Where additional hours are agreed, the number of hours, the days and the reference hours during which the services of the employee may be requested must be stated in the agreement.
  • Employers must give employees a minimum notice period of three days for any additional hours, which cannot be reduced by agreement. In the event of a total or partial cancellation of an employee’s hours without sufficient notice, employers will have to pay the corresponding remuneration.

Probationary periods

  • Probationary periods are limited to a maximum of six months for qualified technicians and two months for other employees.
  • In the case of temporary and fixed-term contracts, if the contract is concluded for a period of six months or more, a probationary period may not exceed one month. For shorter contracts, probationary periods must be reduced by the same proportion.
  • No probationary period is permitted for contracts with a duration of less than seven days.
  • CBAs are not permitted to extend the duration of probationary periods.

Concurrent employment

  • Companies may not prohibit, limit or treat employees unfavourably for providing services to other companies.
  • Restrictions on concurrent employment are only allowed where there are justified objective reasons, such as respecting business confidentiality, health and safety considerations, or preventing conflicts of interest, amongst others.

Job vacancies

  • Employees who have been employed for at least six months will be entitled to apply for vacant positions that are full-time, or provide more hours than their current position, and which are predictable or stable in nature.
  • Employers must give a reasoned written reply to any application for a vacant position within 15 days, or within the period established the CBA, which cannot exceed one month.

Penalties

  • A failure to give a reasoned written reply to a request for a vacant position will be subject to a penalty.
  • A failure to inform an employee in writing of the essential elements of their contract within the required deadlines will be considered a serious offence.
  • Discrimination of an employee as a result of them taking up concurrent employment will be considered a very serious offence.

Null dismissal

  • A new instance of null dismissal has been created.
  • A null dismissal will now also occur when individuals are dismissed after returning to work at the end of a suspension period of the contract arising due to childbirth, adoption, foster care for the purpose of adoption, or foster care, provided that no more than 12 months have elapsed since the date of birth, adoption, foster care for the purpose of adoption, or foster care.

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