The labor reform has reached the Official State Gazette (BOE). The royal decree published this Thursday has among its objectives to put an end to one of the endemic evils of the Spanish labor market, temporary employment, but it will not do so by repealing in toto the reform of the PP of 2012. Despite the fact that some voices in the Government defended this position, with the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, in the forefront, the will to approve the regulatory change Within the framework of social dialogue, it has softened positions and forced to reach compromises. Even so, some of the precepts of the previous regulation considered more harmful will be erased from the Spanish legal system.
The decree , of 54 pages, contains a single repeal provision that “establishes the express repeal of the provisions that contravene the proposed reform.” That is, it immediately throws down some of the elements of the labor regulations in force until now. Others, he clarifies, will come into force three months after the publication of the text in the BOE.
The provision includes four sections. “Any rules of equal or lower rank that contradict or oppose the provisions of this royal decree-law are repealed,” the first of them points out by way of summary. The second, which will come into force after three months, establishes that “article 12.3, sections 1 and 2 of the fifteenth additional provision, the sixteenth additional provision and the twenty-first additional provision of the consolidated text of the Law of the Statute of the Workers. ”
These are precepts relating to partial hiring, dismissal in case of crisis and contracts for work and temporary. Article 12.3 of the Workers' Statute Law makes reference to the part-time contract and the relief contract, establishing that “it shall be understood to be concluded for an indefinite period of time when it is agreed to carry out fixed and periodic jobs within the normal volume of activity of the company. ”. The fifteenth additional provision, on the other hand, determines the limits of the duration of the contract for work or service and the chaining of contracts in the Public Administrations, while the sixteenth regulates the application of dismissal for economic, technical, organizational or production reasons in the public sector.
The twenty-first additional provision refers to the replacement of surplus workers by caring for family members, specifically the reduction in business contributions to Social Security to which the hiring of the unemployed is entitled to cover workers on leave of absence.
The third section of the repealing provision of the recently approved reform, which will also begin to take effect after three months, overturns the precepts referring to temporary contracts established in article 15.1 a) of the statute. This establishes that fixed-term contracts may be entered into when “the worker is hired to carry out a specific work or service, with autonomy and proper substantivity within the activity of the company”, and with an uncertain duration. According to the article, they may not last more than three years, extendable to one more year if the agreement allows it.
The new standard eliminates the contract for work and service and limits fixed-term contracts to two types: structural, due to production circumstances and which may last a maximum of six months – one year if allowed the agreement―, and the replacement agreement, valid until the worker's reinstatement. Likewise, it is expected that companies can face the times of greatest demand, such as Christmas, with a temporary contract of a maximum of 90 days a year and not consecutively. For seasonal activities, the fixed-discontinuous figure is reinforced.
The fourth and last section of the repealing provision immediately demolishes the fourth additional provision of Royal Decree-Law 16/2014, of December 19, which regulates the Employment Activation Program. This provision establishes the exemption from the payment of fees in circumstances of force majeure, of up to 100% for a maximum of 12 months.
The new labor regulations have agreed that companies in crisis can turn to the RED Mechanism for Flexibility and Employment Stabilization. This system aims to favor the maintenance of employment and provides for exemptions in Social Security contributions for those workers suspended from employment or reduced working hours. The mechanism will be based on two different modalities: one cyclical, dictated by the current situation, and another related to changes at the sectoral level that require requalification and professional transition. The maximum duration will be one year in the first case, and six months extendable to 12 in the second.
In addition, the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) for economic, technical, organizational and production reasons (ETOP) will be more agile to process for SMEs, and temporary files of force majeure, after the hit of the pandemic , go on to consider as a specific cause the impediment or limitations to the activity caused by a decision of the Government.