Parliament U-turns and agrees to eliminate age-based leave

Negotiations with workers to review the reform approved just three weeks ago to be opened

2 min
Meeting of the Parliamentary Bureau this January 18, 2022

BarcelonaAge-based leave will be no more. ARA's exclusive has resulted in a complete rectification from Parliament's Bureau, which on Tuesday reversed the reform it had approved just three weeks ago and, according to parliamentary sources, has decided to eliminate age-based leave altogether. The system allowed workers over 60 to continue receiving their salary without working until retirement.

Today's decision was taken unanimously, that is, with the favorable vote of the PSC, ERC, CUP and JxCat. A negotiation has now started between the Bureau and the workers to reformulate the model that currently benefits 21 workers, who receive a combined €1.7m annually.

That is to say, the agreement to revert the old license is in place, but now a negotiation will have to begin with the staff. On the one hand, it has been agreed to put an end to this special system and, on the other hand, to study whether it can be done retroactively, which – sources point out – is difficult.

Age leave was introduced in 2008, under the Speakership of Ernest Benach and backed unanimously by all parliamentary groups. The former president of the chamber has justified the creation of the special regime because of "context" and the need to "rejuvenate" the administration, despite the fact that the system did not allow for positions to be replaced. Instead, new positions had to be created if there was a need for human resources. Yesterday, Speaker Laura Borràs defended the reform she made at the end of December 2021, remarking that she had promoted it when she became president and that she was the first president to address this issue after Núria de Gispert, Carme Forcadell and Roger Torrent overlooked it. However, the modification, negotiated and agreed late last year with staff, did not end the privilege. It only reduced from five to three years the possibility of benefiting from the age leave, that is to say, to be paid without working.