L'ineptie survenant du salarié comme cause de licenciement objectif du travailleur

The Labor Relations Law allows the execution of a dismissal for objective reasons due to supervening ineptitude of the worker once the trial period with the effective placement of the worker in the company has ended. This type of dismissal has traditionally been a source of conceptual doubts about when it can be considered that we are facing this specific situation, for this reason the scope, the characteristics and the requirements to be able to appreciate this type of ineptitude, since they are not regulated normatively, they have needed to feed on abundant jurisprudence to be able to configure themselves.

The treballador's overly ineptitude

El Tribunal Superior de Justícia (TSJ) ha tingut ocasió de matisar el concepte d’ineptitud després del seu tractament en múltiples ocasions i que explicarem en aquest article, si bé aquesta definició no està exempta de dubtes, sobretot als límits de la mateixa, trobant-nos en molts casos davant conceptes subjectius.

The Law defines it as an “incapacity or lack of professional powers of this person to carry out the essential tasks of his job” and in accordance with the jurisprudence of our courts, the High Court understands the incapacity of the worker as the lack of aptitude to do something specifying this court the conditions of application of the article 85.1 to the sentence 298/15 of the 23-12-2015 and that the same establishes 3 essential and cumulative criteria:

- a cause of ineptitude in the person of the worker,

- that this ineptitude has occurred during the employment relationship,

- that this ineptitude affects the performance of the worker's usual tasks, these being determined in relation to the worker's category of work.

They are excluded from this type of dismissal when we encounter a defective performance of the work, that is, when the fit worker obtains a defective performance that is associated with a guilty will of the worker or when we are faced with cases of incapacity for work arising from situations of disability due to illness or accident that are different causes of contractual termination and not comparable to the objective cause of termination due to ineptitude.

Case by case

In the reference sentence, the TSJ confirms the ineptitude of an agent of first intervention in tunnels that, after 6 years and 300 days of work in the company, in a routine control of safety and health at work the doctor notifies the company that the worker has asthma. The court in application of these 3 principles, confirm that we are in the case of incapacity occurred by the operator, as it is a real ineptitude, which has occurred during the employment relationship that affects the performance of the his usual tasks and that prevents him from performing any other task within his category.

A very different case is that of a warehouse worker who was fired because she suffered from severe and very labile bronchial asthma that prevented her from opening boxes of material. In this case, the High Court considers that in no way is it proven that the worker is in the absolute impossibility of working, but that opening boxes was a minimal part of the usual and essential tasks of the same.

In addition to the 3 criteria already mentioned, it must be assessed that the cause of ineptitude is:

- Real and not simulated

- Permanent and definitive and not merely circumstantial

- Relevant that it shows an aptitude below the normal average for the place and the profession

- Affect to tasks specific to the contracted labor benefits


Es necessari distingir una ineptitud sobrevinguda d’una altra sèrie de supòsits relacionats i confusibles amb ella, que no sempre donaran lloc a l’apreciació d’aquesta causa de rescissió del contracte. Cada cas s’ha d’analitzar amb detall per tal d’observar l’existència, o no, de la ineptitud sobrevinguda, tenint en compte la dificultat probatòria que comportarà poder provar-ho en un judici. Si tens qualsevol dubte o necessites aclariment sobre aquest tema, no dubtis en contactar amb el nostre equip d’advocats laboralistes.




Meritxell AlarconMeritxell Alarcón



+ 376 70 70 10