These elections to the Presidency of the Community of Madrid will be special. Not only because they are the first early elections that the region celebrates, but also because they fall on a Tuesday, a working day, something that has not happened since 1987 and has raised doubts about what happens to the people who work that day.

If I work, can I go vote?

Yes, as established by the Workers’ Statute in its article 37. The articles contemplate that employees can be absent from work “for the time necessary for the fulfillment of an inexcusable public and personal duty”, in this case, the vote All this, “as long as there is no legal or conventional rule that establishes the duration of the absence and its financial compensation.”

In addition, article 13 of Royal Decree 605/1999, of April 16, establishes that public administrations must “adopt the necessary measures” so that workers can have up to four hours off during their working hours “for the exercise of the right to vote “, these being remunerated.

Who is entitled to this permission?

Those workers whose hours coincide with the opening of the polling stations may opt for paid leave, varying the time of the same according to the coincidence hours. As established in the Community resolution that governs this casuistry, people whose working hours coincide in six or more hours with the opening hours of the polling stations will have four hours of leave.

The permit will be three hours if the working day coincides between four and six hours and two hours if the coincidence is between two and four hours. Workers whose hours do not coincide with the opening of the polling stations will not have the right to permission. In the case of workers with a partial contract, the times will be adjusted to the hours of their contract.

Do I have to notify the company? And go vote when you want?

Workers who meet the requirements mentioned above must notify, since it will be the company that distributes the period in which employees can use their paid work leave. In other words, it is the company that decides in which hours they can use their permission to go to vote, not the worker.

How do I justify the permission?

If the employee has permission to exercise his right to vote, he must justify it to the company. In this sense, there is no specific document for this, so a receipt can be requested at the polling station after depositing the ballot.

Can the company deny the permit?

No. If workers are not allowed to opt for several hours’ permission to vote, the company could be penalized with between 626 and 6,250 euros for violating a fundamental right. In the event of this refusal, the worker can report it both to the courts and to the Labor Inspectorate. Neither does the company have the power to oblige the employee to make up work that has not been done during those hours.

What if I have to be at a polling station?

The law also provides permits for workers who have to be at the polling station, since all persons between 18 and 70 years of age can be elected as presidents, members or alternates. Workers considered essential, such as doctors, health workers, civil protection or firefighters may resign; employees of the media and news chiefs who cover election day; or professionals who participate in public events planned in advance and who cannot be substituted. To present the resignation and to be effective, it must be requested within seven days after receiving the notification.

In case of not being able to resign, the workers who must be at the table will receive the full working day and, in addition, the supplement that the State will pay, which is around 60 euros. In addition, the next day they will have, if they so request, a reduction of five hours in the working day.


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