Collective bargaining and the result of it constitute a source of Law that we only find in Labor Law and constitutes one of its essential characteristics.
We can define collective bargaining agreement as freely adopted agreements between the collective representatives of workers and employers in order to regulate the working conditions of compliance with the employment contract and the rest of the operation’s rules of the labor relations system.
It is a characteristic of collective bargaining agreements that participate in a dual normative and contractual nature. That is, they have an efficacy and general effects in their sectoral, subjective and territorial scope of application (erga omnes), but simultaneously they are configured and negotiated as private contracts between two parties, which later will register in the corresponding record and will be published in an official bulletin as a legal norm.
Hierarchically it places below the legal and regulatory sources and over the individual contracts. For all intents and purposes (invocation in litigation, principle iura novit curia, or sanction for its infraction), behaves as any other legal or regulatory rule.
The Workers' Statute regulates the requirements and form that collective bargaining agreements must have, according to their area. When these requirements are not met, the agreement will lose general efficiency, although it may continue to have effects but only among the directly represented parties (extra-statutory agreements or limited efficiency pacts and company agreements).
Because of its geographic scope, we can find state and interprovincial agreements, of an autonomous community, provincial, business or group of companies, or that affect a plurality of companies linked for organizational or productive reasons. Lately in the jurisprudence, the concept of workplace agreement is also considered as a different modality of the company agreement.
For its subjective area we also find agreements that completely affect a sector, and others that only regulate certain activities or groups of the sector.
Who negotiates the collective bargaining agreements?
Company agreements: valid interlocutors, the works council, union delegates or workers' representatives. In the event that the agreement is applicable to the entire company, the union representatives who negotiate must have the majority representation of the workers and the express agreement of representation given by the workers.
Higher-level agreements: They will negotiate unions that have representative status statewide, regional or provincial level. The bargaining commission may also include the unions that have 10% of the representatives within the affected works councils and by the companies, the associations and business organizations with recognized representation in the field of application or those associations that count at least 10% of affiliated companies to which the agreement applies.
How long lasts the collective bargaining agreement?
Labor lawyers at Barcelona | Collective agreement
The duration of a collective bargaining agreement will be that agreed between the parties, either as a global duration or as the duration of certain blocks. The most frequent is to negotiate agreements with 3 years duration but with blocks of annual salary revision. If there is no pact on duration in the agreement, it is understood to be extended for years until one of the signatory parties denounces its termination.
When a collective bargaining agreement loses its validity, the pledge clauses cease to be binding. There is tacit repeal from the previous agreement when approving the following agreement, except in the clauses that expressly reflect that the above conditions are maintained.
Must I apply a collective bargaining agreement in my company?
When hiring a worker, if it exists, you will have to apply the collective bargaining agreement of the sector that corresponds to your company by its geographical location. If it does not exist, go to the superior, regional or national level. In this one, all the rights and obligations that both parties, employer and worker, you must meet will be collected.
In case of not existing it will be possible to subsidiary extend with exceptional character an agreement of company of similar economic and social conditions. For example, if your company devotes itself to the design of web pages and you do not find a specific agreement, it could be understood as similar to offices and studies.
In addition, in the clauses of the work contract, the applicable agreement must be indicated.
Labor lawyers at Barcelona and Sabadell
In Català Reinón Abogados you will find answers and advice in any doubt or question that may arise in relation to your Collective Bargaining Agreement or related matter in Labor Law.
Our labor lawyers will assist you in our law offices of Barcelona and Sabadell.