It argues that older workers are closer to retirement and enjoy a higher level of protection in Social Security
MADRID, 21 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Social Chamber of the Supreme Court has handed down a ruling ruling that "it is not discriminatory" for the company and worker representatives to agree on a termination (collective dismissal) employment regulation file (ERE) for minor compensation amount for personnel aged 60 or over.
The ruling, with which the doctrine is unified, specifies that, regardless of age, the agreement between the company and the unions, agreed in court, included in any case compensation for the entire workforce that improved the legal minimum established, which in this case it was 20 days per year as it was an objective ERE for economic reasons.
The Supreme Court considers that there was an "objective, reasonable and proportionate justification" for the difference in treatment of workers aged 60 or over, since they "are very close to accessing a retirement pension, being at the gates of it with the receipt of unemployment benefits.
In addition, it understands that these workers could benefit "more easily" from the possibility of entering into a special Social Security agreement of those provided for in the Workers' Statute for collective dismissal procedures of companies not insolvent in favor of workers over 55 years.
Through this ruling, the High Court dismissed the appeal of a worker at the Ecolgás plant in Puertollano (Ciudad Real) against the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla-La Mancha that endorsed the agreement between the representatives of the company and the unions .
The woman, who was 60 years old at the time of her dismissal, in March 2016, was offered compensation of 83,505.43 euros at the rate of 26 days of salary per year of service, of which 66,804.34 euros corresponded to to the legal compensation of 20 days per year and 16,701.09 euros to the compensation improvement offered.
The Supreme Court not only highlights that the compensation agreed for all workers improved the applicable legal minimum, but also contemplated various correction factors favorable to those who received a lower salary.
Likewise, the High Court indicates that the agreement reached between the company and the unions was the result of collective bargaining and individual autonomy within the framework of a private company, "without there being any blemish of illegality from that purely formal perspective."
For the Supreme Court, it is "reasonable and proportionate" that less compensation is contemplated for those who have already reached the age of 60 due to their proximity to retirement. On the other hand, it understands that "younger workers have a more uncertain professional and life path left, they are still far from receiving a retirement pension, and it is objectively more difficult for the Social Security benefits they may receive in the future to reach up to moment of acceding to that pension".
"The sacrifice required of those who are in one age group or another is reasonable and proportionate, and it is objectively justified that the agreement to distribute the costs of the total amount of the compensation amount reached with the company favors the group that is furthest away from the time of retirement", the sentence states.