The Ministry of Labor has finally ignored the request of a good part of the Labor inspectors who requested that the sanction acts that, as of January 1, 2022, will issue the Labor Inspection in an automated way, if they are signed by a sub-inspector or an inspector. The Royal Decree that implements the automation of certain sanctions approved this Tuesday by the Council of Ministers establishes that the minutes will be endorsed by the Qualified Electronic Seal of the State Agency and the Labor Inspection and Social Security. The absence of the signature has the radical rejection of one of the two inspectors associations, the Union of Labor and Social Security Inspectors (Sitss), and in the case of the other, the Progressive Union of Labor Inspectors (Upit) , the opinions were divided.

Both unions clarify, however, that are totally in favor of the automation of the process for the elaboration of the minutes, which facilitates the work of inspectors. The divergences lie, therefore, in the absence of a signature that implies the prior endorsement of the minutes by an official of the Inspection.

Ana Ercoreca, president of Sitss, insists that The power to sanction falls on the inspectors and sub-inspectors and not on the inspection body. In addition, he understands that the sanctioning process must be controlled by an official and not “let the machine go alone.” In the opinion of this union, the absence of the official could lead to a certain legal uncertainty for many companies, since automation is designed to clarify processes and not to issue sanctions that must be issued “with all guarantees,” says Ercoreca.

In the event that there are allegations to the infraction report, an inspector will have to intervene Mercedes Martínez does not share the possible risks of legal uncertainty, since the sanctioning process created in the Royal Decree establishes that if a company is dissatisfied with the act, it can make the appropriate allegations. And, in this phase, an inspector or sub-inspector must act.

Another of the doubts that arise in the automation process derives precisely from the volume of allegations that can be produced with the automation of the sanctions. The Upit spokesperson points out that since the inspection automated sanctions processes have already been carried out, although the minutes were issued with the signature of an inspector. And, in these cases, it says that there have not been many allegations, even some companies apologized for having committed the infringement. It should be taken into account that in principle, automation is designed for minor infractions, with not very high fines that could be placed in 626 euros, an amount that can be reduced by 40% for prompt payment and waiver of claims. Ercoreca is not so optimistic and believes that there will be allegations.

Infractions to be delimited However, in something yes the Ministry has yielded, according to the president of Sitss. This union asked Labor to define what assumptions or infractions could be processed in an automated way without the participation of inspectors or sub-inspectors. And, although the Royal Decree does not clarify it, it does establish that they must be previously established by resolution of the director of the State Labor and Social Security Inspection Agency – which will be published on the website of the body- the cases in which the automated action will be used.

The Inspection will issue a resolution with the infractions that can be automated On the other hand, each automated inspection action will be initiated by the Director of the Inspection who will establish the criteria to be followed in its preparation and execution, as well as the body in charge of its realization.

Mercedes Martínez, spokesperson for Upit, clarifies that most of the infractions that will be processed in an automated way are normally not sanctioned by the workload of the provincial delegations, going unpunished.


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