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The Role of the Convenio in Spanish Employment Matters

Throughout the previous discussion on employees' rights there have been frequent references to the 'Convenio'. Many of the contractual and other rights possessed by workers can be modified by the Convenio.

The Convenio is in fact the product of a collective agreement between representatives of workers covered by the Convenio and employers within that industry and its reach is affirmed by the legal obligation that any contract of employment must stipulate which Convenio is operative.

Therefore when a contract of employment is signed, all of the agreements reached in the relevant Convenio are imported into the workplace. It therefore becomes critical to understand what is contained in the relevant Convenio and how it may impact on that relationship.

A Convenio will, amongst many other things, regulate the minimum pay for various levels of seniority within the professions covered by the agreement, minimum travelling expenses, overtime pay as well as pay rises, when holidays can be taken, how disputes can be resolved, whether or not an indemnity may be payable, what constitutes a slight or serious infraction, union membership fees.

In effect the Convenio can have an impact on a huge number of aspects of the employer and employee relationship and there are many, many Convenios in existence.