When things go wrong at work, a worker can think of walking away, leaving everything and starting from scratch in a new company. He is free to do so, but in many cases this entails the loss of the right to collect the but, the contributory unemployment benefit, while he finds a new job.
However, on some occasions the worker has the right to unilaterally leave his company without losing the right to collect unemployment . In fact, on those occasions, in addition, he can also collect compensation . The key, as always, is to consult the Workers’ Statute, the reference text that regulates relations between an employee and his employer.
The truth is that this march of the worker with the right to unemployment and compensation only occurs in a very specific series of cases in which the worker is clearly harmed by a business decision or breach. In those cases, the regulations allow him to leave without penalties and with compensation.
Article 50 of the Workers’ Statute makes it clear: the worker may “request the termination of the contract” with “the compensation indicated for unfair dismissal” when they are in any of the following situations:
-When the working conditions that refer to the working day, schedule and distribution of work, shift work regime, remuneration system and salary amount, work and performance system and the functions that exceed the limits for functional mobility. If in these cases the worker sees his personal dignity undermined, he may request the termination of the contract.
-When there are non-payments or continued delays in the payment of salary, the worker may also request the termination of the contract.
-When “any other serious breach of his obligations by the employer” takes place (except in cases of force majeure and when the employer refuses to reinstate the worker if a court ruling has so ordered.
Why do you have the right to unemployment?
The key is that, when leaving work, and as long as they do so for any of the reasons listed above, the worker is in a legal situation of unemployment , as stated on the website of the State Public Employment Service (SEPE ) . Specifically, the agency refers to voluntary terminations of the employment contract due to substantial modifications, non-payments or continued delays and geographical transfers.
However, the worker must prove the rest of the conditions that are required of citizens to be able to collect the contributory unemployment benefit: be affiliated and registered, be registered as a job seeker ( so you can get the job application ), sign the activity commitment with the SEPE, not be of retirement age or receive an incompatible pension, not have a full-time job and have contributed unemployment for a minimum of 360 days within the previous six years.
What compensation is the worker entitled to?
Although the wording of the law refers to those compensations corresponding to unfair dismissal, in some cases said compensations are different. This is the case with substantial modifications to working conditions, except for changes relating to the work system and performance: compensation will be 20 days per year worked with a maximum of nine monthly payments.
In the rest of the situations, these compensations for unfair dismissal will apply, modified with the 2012 labor reform, which is why they vary depending on the date of signing the contract:
-For periods prior to February 12, 2012, compensation is 45 days per year worked with a maximum of 42 monthly payments .
-For periods after February 12, 2012, compensation is 33 days per year worked with a maximum of 24 monthly payments .
In general, the sum of both periods may be greater than 720 days of salary, except in a specific case: that the sum of the compensation corresponding to periods prior to February 12, 2012 is greater, in which case the limit will be the above mentioned 42 monthly payments.