The Council of Ministers approves the labor reform






The Council of Ministers has approved this Tuesday the Royal Decree-Law that reforms the labor market to tackle the high rates of temporary employment in Spain, which is a leader in the European Union (EU), and “turn the page to precariousness”, while fulfilling the objective committed to Brussels of having the standard ready before finalizing 2021 to receive a new batch of European funds.

“There are young people and women who have never known a contract that is not garbage in their lives,” said the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, who thanked the social agents for their work to seal the agreement after nine months of intense negotiations. “Thanks to the multiple technical teams and the many people who have worked so that today we have a working framework that it will change the lives of the people in our country“She pointed out at the press conference after the Council of Ministers, where she was accompanied by the head of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, who has advanced details on the sanctions that companies that decide not to implement it will face.

The norm reaches the Council of Ministers after the “historic” agreement that the Government reached with unions and businessmen on Christmas Eve and It will come into force this Wednesday after its publication in the Official State Gazette (BOE), even if it is decided to process it as a bill. Precisely in Congress the negotiation is complicated, since some groups have already announced that they will oppose it if it goes ahead on the same terms that have been agreed with the social agents; while the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has already threatened to withdraw from the social agreement if the text agreed with the social agents is modified as it passes through the Lower House.

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“The Government has been dialoguing with the political formations and particularly with those they have been supporting. We will continue to do so with discretion and with the conviction that dialogue is possible,” stressed the vice president, who has indicated in this regard that “the citizens do not want noise “, but” understand each other “and, therefore, they will have “a hand extended to the forces that support the Government”. “Dialogue and more dialogue,” he insisted. In this sense, the PSOE spokesman in Congress, Héctor Gómez, pointed out this Tuesday in an interview in RNE that his formation has already started conversations with parliamentary groups to explore “to the maximum” all the possibilities and thus “respect” the text that has been agreed with the social agents.

Companies will have three months to adopt the standard

The pact reached last week with employers and unions supposes modify some aspects of the labor reform of the PP in 2012, as demanded by the most orthodox voices of the Government such as the First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, in the face of its complete repeal as demanded by United We Can. On the one hand, it establishes that the ordinary work contract is indefinite and that temporary contracts can only be concluded due to production circumstances or by substitution of a worker with the right to reserve the job. In addition, it recovers the ultra-activity of the agreements, the priority of the sectorial agreement in salary matters and lays the foundations of a new ERTE model that serves as an alternative to dismissal in the face of crisis or sector reconversions.

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Among the main novelties known this Tuesday, companies will have a period of three months to adapt to the new reform labor regarding temporality. While in the case of contracts for work and services that are in force, the maximum duration will be six months until the entry into force of the standard. In addition, the penalties are toughened: now they will be individualized and will reach a maximum of 10,000 euros per worker.

“Today is one of the most important days of the Government and of this legislature,” added the vice president, who has stressed that with these changes “workers’ rights are recovered” against other policies of cuts and setbacks. “It is the first agreement in the last 40 years that changes the trend of loss of rights and wage devaluation “, has insisted. For her part, the Minister for Territorial Policy and spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, stressed that it is a “deep and balanced” reform that arises from an agreement that gives it “strength and legitimacy.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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