Spain: Los Trabajadores Temporales No Tienen Derecho A Recibir La Misma Indemnización Que Los Trabajadores Indefinidos En El Marco De Un Despido Colectivo

Last Updated: 27 March 2019
Article by Carla Martínez
Most Read Contributor in Spain, March 2019

Sentencia de la Sala de lo Social del Tribunal Supremo de 9 de enero de 2019 [Rec. núm. 108/2018]

La presente resolución analiza el despido colectivo efectuado por una empresa en uno de sus centros. En dicho centro de trabajo estaban adscritos 225 trabajadores, de los cuales 73 eran trabajadores indefinidos y 152 temporales bajo la modalidad de obra y servicio determinado ligado a la duración de una contrata.

En el momento de finalización de esa contrata, la empresa lleva a cabo un despido colectivo en el que se incluye únicamente a los trabajadores indefinidos; mientras que la extinción de los contratos temporales se motiva en la finalización de la contrata.

El despido colectivo es impugnado por un sindicato por entender, entre otros motivos, que se vulnera el principio de igualdad de trato entre dos grupos de trabajadores en función de su tipo de vinculación a la empresa, así como el principio de no discriminación por cuanto los trabajadores temporales perciben una indemnización inferior a los 20 días de salario por año de servicio percibida por los trabajadores indefinidos.

Frente a dichas alegaciones, el Tribunal Supremo concluye que no puede sostenerse la existencia de discriminación entre los trabajadores incluidos en el despido colectivo y los trabajadores excluidos apoyándose principalmente en los siguientes motivos:

  • Si bien es cierto que el Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la Unión Europea ("TJUE") entendió que la extinción por terminación de contrato temporal era equiparable a la extinción por causas objetivas –caso de Diego Porras–, también ha justificado que la cuantía de la indemnización puede ser distinta según cual fuera la causa de la terminación de la relación, amparándose dicha diferencia en el distinto elemento definidor del motivo de la extinción. En el despido colectivo "hay un advenimiento de circunstancias" mientras que en la que finalización de un contrato temporal opera un "término" conocido desde la celebración del contrato.
  • La terminación de una contrata constituye la causa de terminación natural para un contrato temporal basado en la descentralización productiva, mientras que para las relaciones de duración indefinida la terminación únicamente puede operar mediante despido colectivo o por causas objetivas. Es por ello que la terminación de la contrata legitima a la compañía la activación de la causa extintiva del artículo 49.1.c del Estatuto de los Trabajadores para los contratos temporales por obra o servicio.
  • La normativa española establece distinta indemnización para la terminación de los contratos temporales por la conclusión de su objeto y para la terminación de un contrato indefinido y, adicionalmente, la Sentencia del TJUE de 13 de mayo de 2015 –caso Rabal Cañas–, advierte que, a efectos del despido colectivo, no han de tenerse en cuenta las extinciones de contratos de trabajo temporales cuando dichas extinciones se producen en la fecha prevista o cuando el contrato llega a término.

En virtud de los anteriores motivos, el Tribunal Supremo concluye que no puede considerarse que los trabajadores temporales hayan recibido un trato menos favorable que los trabajadores indefinidos por el hecho de justificar la terminación de sus contratos en la finalización de la contrata y no ser incluidos en el marco de un despido colectivo.

El Tribunal Supremo desestima el recurso interpuesto por el sindicato y declara firme la sentencia recurrida, entendiendo que no cabe la inclusión de los trabajadores temporales en el despido colectivo por cuanto fueron contratados para la realización de un servicio determinado que llegó a término por finalización de la contrata y que, por tanto, no tienen derecho a la indemnización de 20 días.

La Sentencia cuenta con un voto particular en el que cinco de los Magistrados entienden que no cable excluir a los trabajadores temporales del despido colectivo porque el mismo esté basado en la misma causa que la terminación de los contratos temporales y exista simultaneidad e identidad de la finalización entre ambas extinciones; esto es, la finalización de la contrata.

Habrá que estar muy atentos a los siguientes pronunciamientos para confirmar cuál es el criterio que finalmente se asienta en nuestro país en relación con el trato de los trabajadores temporales en los procedimientos de despido colectivo.

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