• Politics Sánchez's partners rebel for lowering the labor reform to change only "some things" and the PP warns that "European funds are at stake"


2022 labor reform

is much more than a clash between partners in a coalition government. The political noise covers what is truly important: if the new legal framework will be able to untie the knot that for decades has prevented the Spanish labor market from being


, in the sense that, to the challenges facing the future of work today (disappearance of professions, youth employment, employability of those over 55, productivity, quality of jobs, training, wages, transition from unemployment to activity ...) do not add other endemics that make everything more difficult.

Added to the complexity of the process is the government's new methodology. Starting next Tuesday,

the ministries of Economic Affairs and Social Security will

discuss -before and after the meetings with social agents- with

the Ministry of


the changes proposed by the Government on the new labor framework. The tripartite dialogue has become quadripartite and makes companies and unions fear the delay of the process. The more negotiators, the greater the number of demands, the exchange of concessions and red lines.

The starting point is the labor reform promoted by

Mariano Rajoy

in February 2012 over a previous one by

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero

in 2010. Its repeal is a mantra that CCOO and UGT repeat, supported by the promise of the PSOE that same year to overthrow it in as soon as they reached the Government. The Labor Force Survey on which the then Minister of Employment,

Fátima Báñez

relied on

to promote it, reflected an unemployment of 5,273,600 people that had increased by 295,300 in just three months to bring the rate

to 22.85%

. One in every two young people under 25 years of age could not work and the temporary employment rate was 25%, similar to the current one.

The text introduced important changes to make the market more flexible.

In the midst of a major recession, in 2013, the unemployment rate climbed to its all-time high, 26.9%.

Almost a decade later, it is being discussed to repeal it in full recovery from a second crisis that, thanks to the ERTE, has contained unemployment at

3.47 million workers

, a rate of 14.75% and youth unemployment of 31%.

However, Spain remains at the forefront of Europe as an example of an ineffective labor market.

Last Wednesday, none of those attending the meeting with Secretary of State

Joaquín Pérez Rey

admitted having red lines.

But these negotiations are like this: there are no red lines until they appear.

Modernize or repeal?

The transformation of the tripartite dialogue into a quadripartite one puts on the negotiating table the need for a prior agreement between

PSOE and Podemos

that unifies the Government's proposal. Although so far the discussion between Calviño and Vice President Díaz may seem semantic, the shock of recent weeks makes it clear that it is not. If Díaz applies the

pacta sunt servanda

of the United We Can program in 2019, he has a clear red line. He cannot admit that the modernization that Calviño defends leaves in place some labor reforms that were "written at the dictation of the troika and with the approval of the CEOE and the Círculo de Empresarios".

The person in charge of Economic Affairs, for her part, must ensure that the return of higher union participation quotas in the working conditions of the companies does not reduce flexibility to the market.

Changes rather than derogations.

That is why his proposal aims to concentrate the negotiation on a new Workers' Statute.

Agreements and collective bargaining

Among the novelties of the draft that


want to save after the arrival of Calviño, highlights the recovery of the preponderant role of sectoral agreements over company agreements.

With the new text, the sectoral agreements would set a salary floor that companies could not exceed.

Also the ultra-activity of expired agreements - maximum period of validity in case of disagreement - was limited to one year.

For unions, reversing all these conditions is essential if they want to regain a relevant role at the social level.

Right now, for example, the UGT admits that it lacks the strength to negotiate wage increases and that is why they are turning to achieve an increasingly higher SMI through a government decree.


Outsourcing is identified by the unions as one of the main causes of the

precariousness of thousands of workers


The translation to the text is to introduce a series of limitations that make this practice more expensive and subject to controls.

For businesses, however, this is a very sensitive issue.

It affects the construction sectors, which even has its own sectoral law on subcontracting, metal, cleaning, dependency, security, gardening ...

The limits to this mode of organization are seen in companies as the bad practices of a minority become a threat to the business structure of the rest.

For the small and medium-sized companies that make up

99% of the business fabric

, this is a matter in which the

broad brush

proposed by the Government

is not worth it



"The employment contract is presumed to be concluded for an indefinite time."

The Spanish labor market has become a case to study in developed economies due to its excess of temporary employment.

The abuse is so widespread that the Public Administration is, by far, the one that most resorts to a type of contracting that the European Commission encourages to cut back.

More than one

30% of public employees, around one million, are subject to these contracts.

Now, in the last proposal, the Government put on the table

a limit of 15%

of temporary hires in relation to the total workforce, something that the president of CEOE,

Antonio Garamendi

, considered practically nonsense.

He came to speak of a "Marxist" labor reform project, a qualifier that is not difficult to link to Yolanda Díaz, a member of the PCE.

The companies defend that the temporality, by itself, responds to the nature of many businesses and that making a clean sweep as the draft intends would mean solving a problem politically by transferring it to the companies and also to the workers.


In the labor reform proposed by the Government there is a more than relevant novelty called

the Employment Stability Mechanism

. It is an extension of what Yolanda Díaz boasts as one of her greatest successes, which has been the deployment of the ERTEs. One of the most annoying ministries with deciding its exclusive model has been Social Security and its minister, José Luis Escrivá, who is the one who has designed the exoneration tables in the contributions that companies pay for workers. The tool aims to give employers an alternative to dismissal, the costs of which were lowered by the 2012 reform. It is not one of the areas that can generate the greatest tensions except for the aspect of its financing. The reform of Rajoy supposed a reduction in the

compensation for dismissal

that are not now in question.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

Know more

  • PSOE

  • UGT

  • CCOO

  • Jose Luis Escrivá

  • Social Security

  • Yolanda Diaz

  • European Comission

  • United we can

  • We can

  • Europe

  • Spain

  • Mariano Rajoy

  • ERTE

  • job

  • economy

Public Function Sánchez triggers public employment with more than 100,000 new positions for civil servants

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