The Judgment of the Constitutional Court of July 3, 2019 has annulled the current system of calculation of retirement pension for part-time workers, on the understanding that this system implies a violation of equal rights for full-time employees and part-time employees, as well as indirect gender discrimination against women.
The aforementioned calculation system had two essential characteristics, which were the following:
- The regulatory base of the retirement pension for the part-time worker was calculated according to the salary actually received by that employee, and this amount was naturally lower than that of the full-time employee.
- The so-called "partiality coefficient" was applied to the regulatory base resulting from the previous point, which also implied a reduction in the number of years of social security contributions calculated for the purpose of retirement pension.
As a result, the part-time worker suffered from a double negative impact on his retirement pension. On the one hand, his/her lower salary entailed a reduction of its regulatory base for the calculation of their pension. And, on the other hand, the "partiality coefficient" meant a reduction in the number of years of contributions for the calculation of said pension
The cited Judgment of the Constitutional Court of July 3, 2019 establishes that the reduction of the regulatory base derived from the lower salary received by the part-time employee is a natural and reasonable consequence inherent to this type of employment contract.
However, it understands that the "partiality coefficient" implies disproportionate and unjustified additional damage, which undermines the right to equal treatment for both full-time and part-time employees. It also results in indirect discrimination against women, who, according to official statistics, occupy more than 70% of the part-time jobs within Spanish territory.
Effectively, the aforementioned Judgment is pronounced in the following terms:
"What is not justified is that a difference in treatment be established between full-time workers and part-time workers, not in terms of reducing the regulatory base for part-time workers based on their lower contribution base, but with regard to the additional reduction of the regulatory base through a percentage derived from a "partiality coefficient" that reduces the effective number of days contributed. This differentiation not only leads to a detrimental result in the enjoyment of Social Security protection for workers hired on a part-time basis, but predominantly affects working women, as the statistical data reveal. "
In conclusion, said Judgment proceeds to the annulment of the "partiality coefficient", and, therefore, given the non-retroactivity of its effects, will entail a significant increase in the amount of the pension for the workers who from now on will have access to the retirement situation having contributed as part-time workers at some point in their working life.
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