Spain continues to disadvantage temporary workers

by Deborah Cater
Temporary workers still waiting for labour reform

Temporary workers in Spain are still left empty-handed. Despite a previous ruling by the European Court, the situation for these employees is still the same. The Spanish government is currently working on measures to change this.

The Spanish news site RTVE.es wrote there are currently more than 800,000 temporary workers, including interim workers, who have been in the public sector for quite some time and are not getting a permanent position.

Over 30% of government employees in Spain are temporary workers

According to the most recent labour force survey (EPA 2021), 30.4% of government employees currently work on a temporary basis. This is far above the percentage at non-government companies, namely 22%.

The disadvantages for these people are clear. In many cases, their pay is a lot less than colleagues who do have a contract. In addition, they do not accrue pension, nor have insurance against incapacity for work or illness.

Casa Las Dunas Spain

European Court of Justice for reforming the Spanish labour market

More than a month ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union  ruled on this defect in the Spanish labour market. The European body demanded a significant reform of the labour market to properly address this problem. Although temporary workers thought their problems were over, it was up to the Spanish government to implement the reforms.

Nevertheless, its concrete implementation proves difficult. Although the temporary workers know exactly what they want – namely a permanent contract and as many rights as colleagues doing the same work – the ruling has had little effect to date.

Is there light on the horizon?

The Spanish government is currently in talks with the government functions committee and regional government bodies to find solutions. Minister Iceta of Territorial Policy and Government Function recently submitted a proposal where temporary workers should be offered a permanent contract after three years if the position continues to exist.

The temporary workers in Spain continue to work hard to achieve their goal. In the meantime, they hope that Minister Iceta’s proposal is a start towards a renewed labour sector in Spain.

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