The Supreme Court has ratified that workers do not have the right to use the 35 hours of paid leave to accompany first-degree relatives to doctors, unless they have a degree of dependency or are dependent on them.

In a ruling dated March 20 to which EFE has had access, the social court rejects an appeal by the unions against a ruling of the National Court of 2021, which it ratifies in all its points.

The conflict dates back to 2021, when FS-CCOO (Federation of Citizen Services of Workers’ Commissions) filed a collective conflict lawsuit in the telephone service company Servinform, to declare the right of workers to enjoy the 35 hours to accompany the father or mother to the doctor, without it being necessary for them to be in charge of the worker.

The agreement of the telephone service companies or “contact center” provides that the staff will have the right to use up to 35 paid hours per year, to attend consultations with Social Security doctors, and must give as much notice as possible and must present the appropriate justification.

At Servinform, an equality plan was negotiated that indicated that “the bag of 35 annual paid hours for social security medical assistance referred to in the agreement will be extended to all staff, extending its use to accompaniment to security medical consultations.” of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and dependents dependent on the worker”.

But, apparently, the company did not allow the use of the 35 hours unless the family member—parents and descendants—was effectively dependent. In the 2021 trial, the National Court dismissed the lawsuit, and now the Supreme Court ratifies the ruling.

The will of the parties, he points out, consists of recognizing paid leave hours when the worker presents a need to reconcile his work and family life, taking into account that this is an agreement adopted within the framework of the equality plan.

The need to conciliate is evident when there is dependency between the person requiring medical assistance and the worker, so that when the agreement refers to dependent persons dependent on the worker, this requirement must be met by all first-degree relatives. of the worker: children and parents who go to the doctor.

But “it makes no sense,” indicated the National Court, to expect that the permit be extended “to said family members (think of children over 18 years of age or parents who are not in the care of the worker, let’s even think that both of them can live off independently), even more so when no additional requirement is required, taking into account the severity or impossibility of attending a medical consultation”.

Recognizing the right to accompany the father or mother to the doctor, without it being necessary for them to be in charge of the worker, or be dependent, would “abusively expand” the use of this leave that is paid at the expense of the employer. , say the magistrates.