2020 – The New Spanish Government Arrives with Changes to Employment Law

20 January 2020 - Monika Bertram

On 7 January 2020, Pedro Sánchez Castejón was sworn in as President of Spain. He thus leads the first government in coalition between PSOE, the historic socialist party, and Podemos, the left-wing party founded by Pablo Iglesias in March 2014. On 12 January 2020, the government announced its new members; Yolanda Díaz was sworn in as the new Minister of Employment and Labour Economy on 13 January 2020.

The new government must now take on the challenge of implementing the points which, regarding employment growth and creation, are included in the government programme agreed between PSOE and Podemos on 30 December 2019, prior to the investiture of Pedro Sánchez. Such measures include:

  1. The progressive increase of the interprofessional minimum salary (SMI in Spanish) until it reaches 60% of the average salary in Spain;
  2. Preparation of a new Workers’ Statute (ET), eliminating the following: dismissal due to objective reasons regulated in current Art. 52 d of the ET or the limitation on the term of the collective bargaining agreements (86.3 ET); modification of the rules on subcontracting of work or services (art. 42 ET.); limitation on the business owner’s capacity to carry out unilateral modifications of working conditions (Art. 41 ET.), etc.;
  3. Revision of the templates for employment contracts and fight against “employment fraud”: concatenation of fixed-term contracts, part-time contracts, false freelancers, etc.;
  4. Update of the regulations on the prevention of occupational risks;
  5. Revision of the reasons for objective dismissal and reinforcement of the role of the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate and the labour authorities in supervising collective dismissal procedures;
  6. “Rationalisation” of schedules to favour the conciliation of work, family and personal life by approving a “Law on the uses of time and rationalisation of schedules” (Ley de usos del tiempo y racionalización de los horarios).

We might have thought that 2019 was a busy year in terms of employment policy, with the approval of measures such as the progressive expansion of the suspension period of the other parent’s labour contract, the recording of the workday and the right to request adaptation of the workday. However, the beginning of the new legislature will undoubtedly oblige us to pay attention to all the changes that, in terms of employment law and in light of the government programme, are to come.

More information: Monika Bertram