The Supreme Court endorses poorer severance pay for the elderly


He believes it is not discriminatory that they are paid less than young people because they are “very close” to retirement, as long as they receive at least the legal minimum

Paying less compensation for people over 60 is not discriminatory, as long as the legal minimum is respected. Thus concludes the Supreme Court in a ruling made public this Tuesday that also unifies the doctrine, just as the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, has shown willingness to address a comprehensive dismissal review that includes a reformulation of the causes and determination of compensation depending on the circumstances of the employee, which is called “dismissal à la carte”.

The Social Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled in a ruling that “it did not constitute discrimination on grounds of age” in the collective redundancy agreement reached in court between a private company and the employees’ representatives who agreed to a lower compensation for the affected elderly 60 years or older, taking into account that, regardless of their age, the agreed compensation for all employees was higher than the applicable legal minimum, according to the ruling to which this newspaper has access.

The Supreme Court finds that there was “an objective, reasonable and proportionate justification for this difference in treatment” as workers aged 60 or over are “very close” to accessing an old-age pension, while standing at its gates. with unemployment benefits. For this reason, they can more easily benefit from the possibility of entering into a special social security agreement than the one provided for by the Employee Statute for collective redundancies from non-insolvent companies in favor of employees over the age of 55.

In this way, the Supreme Court rejected the appeal of an employee who was 60 years old at the time of the dismissal against the ruling of the Supreme Court of Castilla-La Mancha, which violated the agreement between the representatives of Elcogás and the trade unions. The woman, who was 60 years old at the time of her dismissal in March 2016, was offered compensation of EUR 83,505.43 at a rate of 26 days’ wages per year of service, of which EUR 66,804.34 corresponded to the legal compensation of 20 hours worked. days per year and 16,701.09 euros in the offered compensation improvement.

The court emphasizes first of all that the compensation agreed for all employees, regardless of their age, improved the applicable legal minimum and even took into account several correction factors favorable to those who received a lower salary. It also points out that the agreement between the company and employee representatives “was the result of collective bargaining and was adopted by those legitimized before them, so from this purely formal perspective there is no ‘line of illegality’ the document needs.

The magistrates argue their ruling that “younger workers have a more precarious career and life path, that they are still a long way from old age pensions and that it is objectively more difficult than the social security benefits they may receive in the future to reach until the time to access them.” to get to that pension.

“The sacrifice demanded of those who fall into one age group or the other is reasonable and proportionate, and it is objectively justified that the agreement to increase the cost of the total amount of compensation achieved with the company in greater the extent to which the group benefits is furthest from the moment of retirement,” concludes the statement, which can be seen as confirming the “dismissal à la carte” defended by Díaz, who advocates paying different compensation depending on of personal circumstances, including age.

Source: La Verdad


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