Wednesday, March 22

One-day contracts fall sharply in January after the deployment of the labor reform

Temporary employment, and especially the most precarious, fell at the beginning of the year. The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, presented this Friday several data on the contracts signed last January and the evolution in the first weeks of February, in which “quality employment clearly improved” after the entry in force of the labor reform. For example, there is a significant drop in one-day contracts, which have gone from accounting for 40% of the total signed in January to 30%. A downward jump of ten points is very notable, especially due to the “stable” situation of the percentage in previous years, the minister warned.

Workers who improve their conditions thanks to the labor reform: “In January they made me permanent”

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The data of affiliation and contracts for January already showed a record of indefinite contracts at the beginning of the year. The increase in indefinite contracts continues to boom so far in February, according to what José Luis Escrivá has advanced this Friday.

Since the last week of December, 160,000 more permanent affiliates have joined Social Security than those registered in previous years of employment growth (2017 to 2019). On the other hand, there are 150,000 fewer temporary members. The minister stressed that discontinuous fixed contracts, which are reinforced in the labor reform, “showed higher growth in February than in previous years.” Regarding the end of the year, “20,000 permanent-discontinuous affiliates more than previous years” have been added.

Increases the average length of contracts

José Luis Escrivá has highlighted that not only temporary work is reduced and permanent work is increased, but also the temporary employment that is being signed since January is “less precarious” than before the labor reform. Spain not only has a problem of a high weight of temporary work, but this has become ultra-short for many people since the last crisis.

The person in charge of Social Security has attributed this change in temporality to new measures incorporated into the labor market legislation, such as the sanction for the listing of the shortest contracts, which came from his Ministry, and which ‘fines’ the employers with a fixed rate of 26 euros for each contract leave of less than 30 days.

Along with the reduction in one-day contracts, which have come to account for just under 30% compared to the usual 40% in the months of January, the minister has reported that “the average duration of contracts” has also increased signed in January and that had already ended on February 7. They have gone from an average of 5.2 days in previous years to an average duration of 6.3 days.

This increase in the duration of the contracts is also observed in a “greater survival” of the contracts. Those signed in January that were still alive on February 7 increased by four percentage points compared to the average of past years: from 35.8% to 39.5%.

Next Council of Ministers loaded with measures

The future of the ERTE has been another of the matters that the minister has addressed, since the last extension of the mechanism due to COVID ends on February 28. Also the extraordinary ‘unemployment’ aid for the self-employed and the provision for the pandemic of the fixed-discontinuous. José Luis Escrivá recalled that the Government met yesterday with the self-employed to explore this issue and that the intention is that the transition measures that are approved can go to the next Council of Ministers, on February 22.

The idea is that the ERTEs due to the pandemic come to an end and that the companies that need it transition to the new ERTEs of the labor reform: either those of force mayors and ETOP that already existed, but that the legislation has revised, or to the new Network Mechanism that is intended to be inaugurated for travel agencies.

But to undertake this transition, different measures are being considered, such as a certain extension of the current model so that companies can adapt and the extension of some protection measures.

If the Government manages to close this issue before next Tuesday, the Council of Ministers will be loaded with labor and social issues. The green light will also be given to the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) of 1,000 euros per month and the bill on new public pension funds and the promotion of employment plans, as confirmed by the minister. This will go to the Council of Ministers without a social dialogue agreement, but with contributions made by the social agents, Escrivá stressed.