The Supreme Court has declared an occupational accident a cardiovascular injury sustained, suddenly, by a worker in the company canteen during the break from the “sandwich break”. But it must be included in the working day according to the agreement of your company. The ruling of the high court unifies doctrine between the different Superior Courts of Justice and agrees with an Andalusian worker who suffered syncope on that break.

The Social Chamber considers that the brief rest period during which the injury occurs is tTime of work both for the purposes of the working day (by conventional provision) and the presumption of work, of article 156.3 of the General Law of Social Security, which provides that It will be presumed, unless proven otherwise, that injuries sustained by the worker during the time and in the workplace are constitutive of a work accident..

The sentence explains that the Workers Statute contemplates the existence of a break of not less than fifteen minutes when the continuous daily workday exceeds six hours, and that will be counted as effective work time when so established by collective agreement or employment contract.

Halfway through the day

The Supreme claims that this “rest period” must necessarily be enjoyed at some intermediate point in the dayBecause it interrupts the activity to recover from fatigue and resume it in better physical condition. If done at the beginning or at the end of it it would no longer be a rest, but rather a reduction in working hours.

He adds that it enhances “the nature of occupational safety and health associated with it”, because “there is an implicit connection with the effort (physical and mental) of the person who provides his activity; on the other hand, the short duration and, above all, the need to resume productive activity immediately suggests that we are facing a time linked to the content of the employment contract. “This last idea, according to the sentence, explains” the strange legal formula according to which work time is considered, “if so agreed.

The court considers the appeal filed by a worker who suffered syncope with cardiorespiratory arrest during that break. The National Social Security Institute (INSS) recognized the Complainant, who worked as a cork grinder, a permanent disability with a degree of invalidity, derived from a common contingency, with the right to receive 2,033 euros per month. The worker brought him to justice and a court of the Social of Algeciras gave him the reason when considering “his illness, for all intents and purposes, derived from professional contingency.”

Condemned the mutual to pay the corresponding benefits and acquitted the INSS, the General Treasury of Social Security (TGSS) and the company on the understanding that the applicable collective agreement considered the “sandwich break” as working time, therefore that all the elements concurred for the presumption of innocence to operate without the defendant having distorted it.

The Mutua, for its part, appealed the ruling to the Andalusian Superior Court of Justice, which concluded that the illness suffered by the worker occurred within the company but outside of working time; reason why it was not protected by the presumption of labor. The Supreme Court now annuls this ruling and confirms the original of the court.