Business secrets within the framework of research projects

RESUME

The Supreme Court of Galicia declares that, despite the appearance of a training grant, all the characteristic notes of an employment relationship concur, given that the tasks entrusted to the grant holder are carried out with total autonomy, there was no training program, the training consisted of perform the tasks assigned by the head of the laboratory and the hours of the practices coincided with that of the entire staff.

ASSUMPTION OF FACT

A person obtains a grant from a County Council to provide services in a laboratory. This scholarship can be extended for a maximum of 4 years and has a consideration of € 800.

The fellow was assigned to the Biological Control Unit of the phytopathology section, where he carried out analyzes demanded by the different companies of the agricultural and citizen sector, as well as the development of activities related to the research projects carried out in the center.

Said activities were carried out by the fellow from 8:00 to 15:00, the same as the workers of the Provincial Council.

In 2018, the fellow files a lawsuit claiming that the existence of a true employment relationship be declared.

As a result of the lawsuit, the Provincial Council decided not to extend the scholarship, processing his withdrawal as a scholarship holder.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

The issue in dispute consists of determining whether the provision of services by the person receiving a grant involves an employment relationship or not.

The Court begins by recalling that the key to distinguishing between a training scholarship and a work contract is that the aim of granting scholarships is not to benefit from the scholarship holder’s activity, but to the help they provide as a result of their training.

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The differential feature of the scholarship is its purpose to facilitate the study and training of the scholarship holder and not to appropriate the results or fruits of their effort or study, obtaining a profit from them for their own benefit.

Well, in this case the trial court maintains that there are essential data for the classification as labor of the relationship between the parties. This is so, since the tasks entrusted to the fellow are carried out with total autonomy, there was no training program, the training consisted of carrying out the tasks assigned by the head of the laboratory and the hours of the practices coincided with that of the entire staff .

Therefore, the Court concludes that in this case there is a common employment relationship protected by Article 1.1. of the ET, and not a training grant, since productive activity, from which the company benefited, prevailed over training activity.

CONCLUSION

The Supreme Court of Galicia considers that in this case there is a true employment relationship between the scholarship holder and the Administration, since productive activity prevailed over training activity.

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