Thinking of starting a business? Have you finally made up your mind? It is in these moments when you must take into account all the administrative procedures to follow in order to put your company into operation and give the best conditions to employees. That is why at Aplicaciones Reunidas we have decided to explain the process of a collective agreement to you .
It is a document negotiated between the workers and the employer to establish the benefits and obligations of the former, such as their working hours, vacations, overtime, salary … etc.
Current legislation on the process of a collective agreement
The regulation and negotiation in the process of a collective agreement , either with respect to its effectiveness or treatment, is included in Title III of the Workers’ Statute , relative to “On collective bargaining and collective agreements” in Spain.
All the rules and methods to carry out this type of agreements (concurrence, content, validity, legitimization …) are included in article 82 and the following articles that follow from the same statute.
What parties are entitled to negotiate a collective agreement?
The first thing we must do to carry out the process of a collective agreement is to bring together the people entitled to negotiate it , who will seek the best conditions for each of the parties, always in favor of the workers and with a common goal.
As we can see, there are always two “sides” in this process : the worker and the employer , which will be supported and represented by that person or groups of people qualified for it.
On the one hand, representing the workers of a sector, the works council, the personnel delegates, or the union sections that make up the majority of the committee members are legitimized.
On the other hand, when dealing with agreements for a group of companies , we would talk about the legislation applied to sectoral agreements, where they would be represented by the most representative unions at the state level, at the Autonomous Community level, and those with a minimum 10% of the members of the works council or staff delegates.
On the other hand, on the part of the employers, the following would be legitimized: the employer himself in the company agreements or lower level, the representative of the companies in collective agreements, and the business associations that have 10% of the employers in the geographical and functional scope, in sectoral agreements.
Factors to take into account to carry out a collective agreement
But, how to ensure that the collective agreement process is successful and optimal results for its implementation ? To do this, we must take into account a series of fundamental factors before proceeding with its negotiation.
Information gathering and SWOT analysis
Before proceeding with the negotiation of the parties, we must collect all the necessary information about the company, the sector, the economy and the situation of the workers in order to be able to detail all the points in the agreement with full knowledge of the facts.
In addition, establishing in our head their weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities , will give us the necessary guidance to be able to make the best decisions according to the preferences of each of the parties. Remember that you not only have to find the best situation for operators, but also for employers.
Establish common rules
The representatives themselves will be in charge of establishing common standards in the negotiation process to avoid making mistakes, falling into irregularities, or entering into debates and conflicts. They must establish the times, meeting place, topics to be discussed and joint objectives.
Listen and respect the parties
Respect is one of the fundamental parts in any elaboration of the process of a collective agreement, since, although both seek their own benefit , we must know how to empathize with the other as well as remain calm, respect different opinions and not enter into unnecessary conflicts .
Include gender equality measures
Negotiations for a collective agreement are the perfect time to establish legal measures to promote gender equality in companies. Working women need their space too!
Steps to carry out a collective agreement
Once we know all the fundamental factors to carry out the process of a collective agreement, it is time to bring the negotiating parties together and begin the agreements to improve the conditions of workers and employers.
Step 1: Determination and Response
The first step for the constitution of the collective agreement process occurs when one of the parties entitled to represent the workers or the employer, takes the initiative and proposes a negotiating table .
This must be communicated in writing, sending a copy to the competent labor authority, either by territorial or functional scope, or depending on the matters on which it is negotiated at the table.
On the other hand, the receiving party must respond to the proposal , either accepting or rejecting it.
Step 2: Creation of the negotiating commission
Once the communication has been answered with an acceptance, or in the event that there are no justified reasons to reject it, a negotiating table will be created in the one formed by the representatives of the workers and employers within a maximum period of one month. In it, the negotiations of the collective agreement process will be carried out.
The two parties will select the way to moderate the meetings, and will have the possibility of electing a table president to do so, without voice, but with vote.
Step 3: Negotiations
The negotiation of the two parties must be governed by the principle of good faith , by which they will listen to the other, their claims and requests, and carry out their own without entering into conflicts or irregularities.
The process of dialogue will begin once the denunciation of the agreement has been established, norms will be established to avoid blockages and alternative proposals will be formulated in writing. In this way, an attempt will be made to agree on the best conditions for both parties without going against any of the points of the Workers’ Statute .
Step 4: Registration and publication
To finalize the collective agreement process, it must be registered with the competent labor authority within 15 days of signing the document. Once this is done, it will be referred to the public body for mediation, arbitration and conciliation.
After this, it will be published in the BOE (Official State Gazette), and will enter into force 20 days after being registered.