A new ruling from Brussels regarding interim workers, and a setback for Spanish law. In a published sentence, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared that the national norm was contrary to the community. It prevents a worker from consolidating the degree he has earned for the interim services.
This ruling is a response to a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice of Castilla y Leon, which asked the CJEU about a case involving a worker who, for nearly seven years, held, as an interim, and through a single appointment the position of coordinating vet in the autonomous community. For this, he was given a personal level level of 24. However, when he presented himself before the oppositions to consolidate his temporary employment and to approve the career civil servant position, he was granted a level 22 job. He demanded the consolidation of the interim grade 24, but three years later, the regional authority refused to grant him such a request. According to the ruling, the authority stated that it was impossible to consolidate positions on an interim or provisional basis and the final position for which the worker was appointed had a lower degree than the one requested.
The worker went to court. The higher court of Castilla y Leon asked European Justice how to interpret the rule in the community framework. Consolidation would imply the promotion of the worker into a position that is superior to that resulting form the position of the who is the definitive owner, which is contrary to regional legislation.
CJEU states that the European Framework Agreement on Fixed-Term Work "opposes national Regulations by virtue of which for consolidating the personal Grade, the services that an Official has provided as interim before to attain the status of Career Civil Servant.
It also indicates that the worker's interim situation was similar to his career-official situation in terms of the functions of coordinating vet, the required qualifications, and the regime, place, and other working conditions. His situation must be compared to that of a permanent official in that position. He however believes that the Spanish court will decide if career officials or interim officials are in a similar situation.
The Court responds that the Framework Agreement allows workers with fixed-term contracts to be treated less favorably that permanent workers in similar situations.
Brussels also examines whether objective reasons can be given for the different treatment. The jurisprudence states that a reference to the temporary nature work of interim civil servants does not, in itself, provide an objective reason. It is not the fact that civil servants have a vertical career. Although consolidation of personal grades can be reserved for career civil servants only, regulations in a Member state cannot impose an abstract and general requirement relating to the temporary nature work of interim officials without considering the particular nature of their tasks and their characteristics.