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Olga Galindo Carazo.  

Every company knows that the summer and Christmas seasons are the best times for its employees, and this is because, apart from enjoying their well-deserved days off, they receive their special bonuses.

Article 31 of the Workers’ Statute regulates this situation and provides that every worker is entitled to two extraordinary bonuses per year, one of them on the occasion of the Christmas holidays and the other in the month established by collective agreement or by agreement between the employer and the legal representatives of the workers.

As we can see, our legislation includes the Christmas bonus as a bonus, leaving the other to be negotiated in the applicable collective bargaining agreement. However, at present, most companies choose to set the other extra pay in June, coinciding with the start of their employees’ summer vacation.

Therefore, unless the collective bargaining agreement establishes more payments, the company is obliged to recognize each and every employee’s right to two extra payments per year.

Summer and Christmas special bonuses.

The company must bear in mind that, in general, and unless there is an express agreement or the collective labor agreement states otherwise, the accrual of special payments is annual, with the extra payments being generated from the day on which the previous one is paid. This means that the summer bonus that the company must pay to its employees this June 30 is that which has been generated for the period between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. However, if they are generated on a half-yearly basis, the company must take into account that the extra pay would be generated from January 1 to June 30 in order to calculate the extra pay.

At this point it is convenient to indicate that the company’s employees will receive the same whether the extra payments are generated annually or half-yearly, and the company will pay them what is rightfully theirs, without in either case they will lose money for such concept.

On the other hand, the company can, being totally valid, as long as it has been agreed in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or it has been expressly agreed with the employee, prorate the extra payments in the paychecks of its employees during the twelve monthly payments, a very common practice.

Finally, if the company has one of its employees in a situation of temporary disability, the payment of the extraordinary payment must be reduced in proportion to the period of time in which the employee remains in a situation of temporary disability. However, if the employee terminates his employment relationship with the company, the company must pay him the proportional part of the special payments corresponding to him at the time of termination, and the corresponding payment must be fully recorded in the severance payment document.

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