First of all, we would like to stress that the proposal was approved by 86% of the employees who it will affect – the staff at headquarters, except sales and operations teams – which shows ample support and confirms the proposal was very highly valued by the staff. This percentage of positive votes has far exceeded the minimum 66% votes in favour that the company had established for implementing this work week, given the significance and impact of the change. By law, approval rates are set at 50.1%, but at Desigual we decided to increase this to ensure that at least two thirds of employees were in favour.
After the measure was proposed a month ago, employees were given all the necessary information to understand the details of the impact it would have on their working hours, salary and the terms of their National Insurance contributions. With the aim of gaining majority support, the company promoted the establishment of an Employee Commission – made up of volunteer employees chosen by their colleagues – who acted as interlocutors to solve any questions that may arise. They were also in charge of organising the vote, counting the votes and ensuring the utmost rigour and transparency throughout the process.
At Desigual we have been fully involved in this initiative because we truly believe it is the best formula for continuing to further the company’s growth and enabling our employees to enjoy a better work-life balance. We want to become the best place to work.
Naturally, implementing this proposal would bring changes to contract terms, about which every employee was informed before voting. For those employees who believe that, for them personally, the 3+1 work week is not the best option, and freely decide not to accept the new employment terms approved by 86% of employees, the measures established by law will be applied. In accordance with the terms set out in article 41 of the Workers’ Statute, those who wish to be excluded from this measure will have to submit a voluntary termination of contract to the company. Said termination shall result in the payment of 20 days’ salary for each year of service, limited to 9 months. Under no circumstances will this be a dismissal.
From the very beginning we were aware that this was a bold and risky proposal. Which is why we defined a presentation process, a period for queries and clarifications, and a voting day that observed every legal requirement and took into account any needs and concerns of our employees.
This initiative is part of a larger plan to deliver disruptive working and work-life models, which also includes implementing improvements for the rest of the collectives who cannot be part of the new work week – due to the specifics of their roles, as is the case for store staff and sales and operations teams – and strengthening the service provided to stores and logistics centres.
We are confident that this proposal will allow us to take a step towards implementing more balanced and flexible working models. So we would like to thank all our employees for their involvement and commitment, and we share the joy and enthusiasm of the large majority of employees who have celebrated the result.