The Third Chamber Of The Supreme Court Ruled In Their Decision Dated December 16, 2008 (RJ/2008/5991) That The Third Paragraph Of Article 14.1 Of Royal Decree 1331/2006 Dated November 17th Is Null And Void

26 March 2009

The Third Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled in their decision dated December 16, 2008 (RJ/2008/5991) that the third paragraph of Article 14.1 of Royal Decree 1331/2006 dated November 17th is null and void. Said paragraph regulates the special labour status of attorneys who work in law firms, establishing that the hours they incur travelling or waiting will not be taken into account when calculating the maximum length of a work shift unless they undertake activities related to their profession during said time.

The Court deems that said regulation violates Article 40.2 of the Spanish constitution, which limits work shifts, and Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council dated November 4, 2003 which defines working time as “any period during which the worker is working, at the employer’s disposal and carrying out his activity or duties, in accordance with national laws and/or practice”. As specified in the ruling, the third paragraph of the challenged article would be incompatible with the second paragraph of same which also considers time worked “outside of the office for the assistance and defence of clients” as working time. Likewise, according to the adjudicator, the third paragraph of Article 14.1 of Royal Decree 1331/2006 only serves to confuse the matter which is legally unacceptable.

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