Companies can no longer sign contracts for work and service with their workers

Companies can no longer sign contracts for work and service with their workers

A waiter on a terrace in Madrid. / Oscar Chamorro

Since April 1, the labor reform has been fully in force, which limits temporary jobs to two specific causes

Lucia Palacios

The labor reform that the Government approved at the end of last year with the approval of the unions and employers entered fully into force last Friday. The Executive established at the time a transitory period ('vacatio legis') of three months so that companies could adapt to the new norm, although only in terms of temporary hiring. The rest of the measures are already active since last December 31, when it was published in the BOE.

Thus, from April 1 companies can no longer sign any contract for work and service. From January to March they could still do it -with the 2021 legislation in hand-, although with a maximum duration of six months. From now on, these will be the great new modalities.


With the new norm, the contracts are presumed concluded for an indefinite period of time. Also in the construction sector in cases where they are aimed at tasks or services whose purpose and result are linked to works. Once completed, you must offer a relocation proposal. If the worker rejects it or there is no possibility of relocation, the contract is terminated, with compensation of 7% of salary.


They are allowed only for two very defined reasons: circumstances of production and substitution. In the first case, two submodalities are established: it will be used to cover occasional and unforeseeable increases as well as for fluctuations in production that, even in the case of the company's normal activity, generate a temporary mismatch between the stable employment available and the that is required, provided that it does not respond to the assumptions of the fixed-discontinuous. Vacations are included within these oscillations. Its duration will be up to six months, extendable to one year if agreed in the agreement.

The second submodality is to attend to foreseeable occasional situations and with a reduced and delimited duration. It may be contracted, but this contract per company is limited to 90 days a year, and never continuously.

The other reason why a company can sign temporary contracts is to replace workers who are sick or on leave. This contract is also valid to cover vacancies during a selection process, although in this case the maximum validity will be three months.

discontinuous fixed

It aims to establish itself as the alternative to the void generated by the suppression of temporary work and service. Subject workers will be assigned tasks of a seasonal nature but will be computed as indefinite.

Thus, they may be agreed to carry out seasonal work or work linked to seasonal activities or for the development of those that do not have such a nature but that, being intermittent, have certain, determined or indeterminate execution periods.

They will also be used for the provision of services within the framework of the execution of commercial or administrative contracts that, being foreseeable, form part of the activity. Seniority is calculated based on the entire duration of the employment relationship in aspects such as economic and professional promotion and according to the length of service actually provided.


There will be two types: alternating training, which is the model designed for those who want to combine work with studies. There is no age limit but the duration must range between three months and two years.

The working day may not exceed 65% during the first year and 85% in the second, with remuneration not less than 60% and 75%, respectively. The other way is the contract to obtain professional practice and is aimed at those who have a university degree or FP.

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