Wednesday, May 18

The Supreme recalls that the increase in the SMI should not apply to those who earn a higher salary with supplements

The Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) has experienced several pronounced increases in the last four years: from 735 euros in 2018 to 1,000 euros in 2022. The Supreme Court has issued several rulings in which it intends to clarify some doubts regarding who affects and what role do the supplements that workers already received play. The answer is that someone who already received more than 1,000 euros between their base salary and salary supplements, fixed or variable, will not benefit from the increase that has come into force this year.

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This is not the first ruling issued by the social chamber of the Supreme Court in this regard. A few weeks ago, the same judges resolved the case of workers at centers for the labor insertion of people with disabilities in Catalonia, and concluded that when calculating the new salary, it was not necessary to convert the new SMI into the base salary and then calculate the complements. That, the Supreme Court said then, “would have a multiplier effect on all collective agreements, whose base salaries were lower than the SMI.”

An argument that is now expanded in three sentences and an informative note made public this Friday. “Despite the literal nature of the Royal Decree, the increase must be applied in the terms contemplated by the Workers’ Statute, so it does not affect those who are already receiving a higher salary in annual computation,” says the Supreme Court at a general level. The Royal Decree of 2018, which is the one that was applied to the cases that the Supreme Court has studied, explains that the revision of the SMI “will not affect the structure or the amount of the professional salaries that the workers have been receiving when such salaries in as a whole and in annual computation were higher than said minimum wage.

Now the Supreme Court issues three sentences in which it explains that “in order to achieve the effective perception of the guaranteed SMI, the provisions of the collective agreement must be followed, including the various salary supplements” unless the collective agreement applicable to each case says otherwise.

The opposite, they say, would imply that the SMI “would end up being different for each group subject to conventional regulation, or even for each person (in view of their supplements of this nature)”. One of the cases they have resolved explains that the seniority supplement is part of the salary that must be compared with the new SMI, while another extends that to “all salary supplements”, including variables. Outside the rule, according to the third sentence, are extra-wage payments.