Misc 09/06/2021

Spanish government plans to limit temporary contracts to six months

Díaz says she will push for a "profound" reform to put an end to the abuse of temporary contracts

2 min
The Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz.

MadridThe changes in hiring that will be included in the labor reforms will go beyond the simplification of contracts. The Ministry of Labour wants to put an end to the high temporality of the labour market by changing the temporary contracts from top to bottom. The latest proposal which has been sent to the social partners with whom the department managed by Yolanda Díaz is negotiating with - employers and unions - states that temporary contracts may only have a duration of six months. This is extendable only "exceptionally" and if so, must be established by the sectoral collective agreement, to one year.

Under current legislation, temporary contracts have a maximum duration of three years, extendable to four years by collective agreement. The change proposed by the Spanish government, therefore, is not minor. The Minister of Labour has spoken this Tuesday of "substantial" and "structural" changes to the temporary contract. "We will make a profound and very important reform to put an end to the abuse of temporary contracts", she said.

The Spanish government wants the law to clearly prohibit temporary contracts to cover structural workplaces. According to the draft proposal on the table, a temporary contract can only be established "for productive and organizational reasons". The text specifies that productive reasons are understood as "the occasional and unforeseeable increase in business activity that cannot be met with the company's regular staff". Excluded, therefore, work of a seasonal nature or linked to specific campaigns. The Ministry believes that for this type of work, other types of contracts should be used, such as fixed-term contracts.

Substitute workers

The text also establishes that a temporary contract may be made to replace a worker who has the right to reserve a position. The novelty, however, is that 24 months later, if the person replaced does not rejoin, the temporary contract will acquire the status of permanent, without the substituted worker's right to rejoin lapsing. Díaz also wants the reform to make it easier for temporary workers to have preference in filling vacancies in permanent jobs in their company.

The Ministry of Labour has been negotiating for months with employers and unions on a reform that the executive has pledged to approve before the end of the year. Diaz wants to simplify the types of contracts and put an end to the endemic temporality of the Spanish labour market, one of the historical claims of the European Commission.