Recently, one of the most important changes was introduced to employment/labour law regarding debt collection in Spain. Just like the debt collection proceedings specified in Civil Law, this law is applicable to specified sums that are due and payable, while also emerging from an employment/labour relationship.
The following claims are excluded from this area:
- Claims against employers that have declared insolvency.
- Claims against employers that have vanished and so public notices have to be published in order to summon them.
- Collective claims that the worker’s representatives can make.
- Claims that are directed at administrative entities and claims that work together with Social Security.
- Claims of a sum exceeding €6,000.
An employee can petition the proceedings to be initiated, preferably through a petition in electronic format. The employer should be precisely identified by the petition. It should specify the amount of the claim, the employer’s CIF/NIF, email address, place of work and telephone number.
The documents that an employee should submit with the initial petition, include a copy of acknowledgement of the debt, the contract, payslips, a social security worklife report, etc. The purpose of submitting these documents is to ensure that the employment relationship is proved. Moreover, any documents that show that the employee had sought a solution prior to the presentation of the petition should also be submitted.
Once the documentation has been received by the court clerk, a time limit of 4 days is provided for the rectification of any defect that is deemed rectifiable. Where the defect is not remediable or an employee does not rectify the defect within the time allowed, a report is sent by the court clerk to the court. A decision is then made by the court of whether or not the petition that employee has filed is to be admitted.
If the petition is allowed by the Judge, 10 days are granted to the employer for the claimed amounts to be paid. The notice of opposition can also be submitted by the employer in which reasons why the employer feels they should not admit the claim in part or in whole are briefly outlined.
The bottom line is that the purpose of employment/labour related debt collection proceedings is the same as collection proceedings involving civil debt. However, there still happens to be significant differences when it comes to employment/labour related debt collection in Spain. Only debt collection agencies take these differences into account when the claim is being filed.