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Am I entitled to compensation if I am fired because of reduced working hours?

Usually people's perception is that in a situation of reduced working hours they cannot be fired, much less receive compensation, although the reality is quite different.

Can workers be fired for reducing their working hours?

Workers enjoy special protection that prevents them from being dismissed without cause. However, dismissal is possible when there is a legal cause for it. 

As established in article 56 of the Workers' Statute, dismissal for any of the reasons for discrimination prohibited by the Constitution or the law, or for violation of the fundamental rights and public freedoms of the worker, is null and void.

The Workers' Statute sanctions with nullity those dismissals of workers who are in a situation of reduced working hours whose causes alleged (objective or disciplinary) by the employer are not true or justified; or when there are causes of discrimination prohibited by legislation. 


In which cases would dismissal be considered legal?

In those cases in which it is declared that the decision to terminate the employment contract is justified for reasons not related to the employee's situation, that is to say, that in reality there is a disciplinary or objective cause that justifies the dismissal of the employee. 

In these cases, the dismissal will be legal. The difference between an employee protected by a reduction in working hours and one who is not is that, where there is no legal cause for the termination of the contract or dismissal, the former, on declaring his dismissal null and void, will be entitled to reinstatement in the company, while the latter may acknowledge the unfairness of the dismissal and also terminate the employment relationship, albeit with a higher compensation. 


In the case of dismissal due to a reduction in working hours, are you entitled to compensation?

You are entitled to receive compensation, therefore, in the cases of reduction of working hours referred to in Article 37.4 in its final paragraph, as well as in its paragraphs 5, 6 and 8, the salary to be taken into account for the purpose of calculating the compensation provided for in this law will be that which would have corresponded to the worker.


When establishing the calculation of the compensation to be taken into account? 

It will be the one that would have corresponded to the worker without considering the reduction of the working day carried out, as long as the maximum period legally established for said reduction has not passed.