The National Court has ruled in favor of a company that sought to establish a system called hot desk (hot tables, in English) whereby, by means of a computer application, workers had to reserve their jobs on a weekly basis, and these could be located in different places of the company’s facilities. In the ruling, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the Hearing rejects the request of the unions that the employees maintain a fixed physical position, and considers that with this alteration no substantial modification of the conditions of employment has been carried out. job.
In the ruling, the Social Chamber accredits that “the job allocation system has a weekly schedule that does not vary throughout the week in question; that the configuration of the work teams is respected, since the reservation of nearby jobs is encouraged; that workers are not changed from the workplace; and that there are no objections by the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate ”.
The conflict is between the Coordinadora Sindical de Clase (CSC) union and the company Ayesa Advanced Technologies SA, which, due to the outbreak of the pandemic, decided to change headquarters and alter its work dynamics. To do this, he designed a procedure called Smart Job, which included the allocation of jobs (hot desk) through requests that workers had to carry out through an app. “The new headquarters has among other benefits with meeting rooms, workstations hot desk, open work area, coffee corner and a dining room. All of them are more modern spaces, with much more comfortable and comfortable facilities and great technological improvements to facilitate daily work and improve collaboration between all ”, read the communication transferred to its employees.
This new method of hot tables affected the entire workforce distributed by the different centers that the company had deployed throughout the national territory and located in different autonomous communities. In another communication sent to its workers, the company stated that the objective of the new labor scheme was “to maximize the flexibility of the use of the office.” To carry out the reservation of their jobs, the employees had two shifts: the first, between 8 and 14 hours; and the second, from 14 to 20 hours.
For CSC, this alteration supposed a substantial modification of the working conditions of the employees, claiming that with this new method the workers would no longer have a regular physical work space and that if the reservation of their positions was not carried out, they would be left without a place where you can carry out your task. In addition, the union also denounced that at the time of calculating the reservation of the workspace, the application does not take into account the building in which the employee provides his services within the same locality, the department for which he does it, the plant, the colleagues with whom it relates, or any other parameter framed within “the daily normality of the worker.”
In accordance with this violation, the Hearing considers that “we are not facing a substantial modification of working conditions from those provided for in article 41 of the Workers’ Statute” and adds that “we are faced with a new business criterion of work organization that it does not affect the matters contemplated in article 41 ET, and that responds to reasons of organizational effectiveness and efficiency for a better use of the material resources that the company needs for the execution of its business purpose ”. And he adds: “It seems reasonable, for example, that if personnel from different floors come to a building with five floors, but who would occupy only two in practice, those two floors are effectively used with the job allocation system, thus avoiding the unnecessary use of all the plants in question with the consequent improvement in the management of some of the company’s costs ”.