More than half a million new discontinuous landlines that will not increase unemployment

The boom of this until now residual contract will alter the statistics by not computing as unemployed, as was the case with temporary

Lucia Palacios

Controversy between the Government and the opposition over the discontinuous fixed contract. The second vice-president, Yolanda Díaz, accused the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez-Feijóo, of ignoring the characteristics of this labor modality, which is not new but has been substantially modified after the labor reform so that it can absorb the workers who previously they had a temporary work and service contract that has now been eliminated.

Indeed, as the minister affirms, neither the name has been changed nor has the fact that this type of worker is not counted as registered unemployed changed. They didn't do it before. However, it is true that this 'boom' of discontinuous fixed lines will alter the unemployment statistics that existed until now and it will no longer be possible to compare them with previous years. Why? Because if until now this type of contract was residual – hardly 20,000 were signed in May of a year ago – its presence has multiplied by 13 and last month almost 265,000 were signed, half a million if those of April are added, when it entered counter-reformation fully in force. And it is a fact that at some point they will stop working but in this case they will not count as registered unemployed, although they will have the right to collect unemployment benefits if they have contributed for the necessary period. In this case, they appear as unemployed job seekers because they are not fully available to work, similar to what happens with those affected by an ERTE, who did not join the unemployment lists during the pandemic.

“We are going to see a break in the unemployment series and we will not be able to compare the data from before and after the reform,” says Valentín Bote, director of Randstad Research, who indicates that it is not that “nothing irregular, but the way of measuring is different». This is a consequence of the fact that the vast majority of these half a million contracts replace temporary ones, which would be counted as unemployed when they go into inactivity.

Another piece of data that shows the strong growth in the discontinuous fixed figure after the application of the labor reform is extracted from affiliation: last April there were more than 640,000 contributors with a contract of this type, while in 2019 there were 418,000 and in 2020 346,000.

Below is an answer to the main doubts that could exist regarding this type of contract.

-When can a discontinuous fixed contract be used?

-This type of contract, which is indefinite and, therefore, does not have an expiration date like the temporary one, may be used to carry out work of a seasonal nature or linked to seasonal productive activities, or for the development of those that do not have said nature but, being of intermittent provision, have certain, determined or indeterminate execution periods. In turn, it may also be arranged for the provision of services in the execution of commercial or administrative contracts that, being foreseeable, form part of the ordinary activity of the company. Likewise, temporary work companies may make this type of contract in such a way that the worker is an indefinite employee of the ETT but is transferred continuously to different companies.

- Is it a new contract?

-No, this modality already existed long before Yolanda Díaz's labor reform, but it has undergone certain modifications to open it up to situations that before this rule were made with temporary or permanent part-time contracts. The Government intends to channel all the temporality that there was towards this type of contract.

-What compensation have the discontinuous fixed?

-Unlike temporary workers, who are compensated with 12 days per year worked at the time their contract ends, the termination of a fixed-discontinuous worker is like that of an indefinite worker, which ranges between 20 days per year and one maximum annuity or 33 days per year and 24 months of cap, depending on whether it is a pertinent objective or a disciplinary objective. unfair. The seniority of these workers is calculated by the time they have worked.

-What new rights do these workers have?

-The company must inform these people about the existence of ordinary permanent job vacancies and, in addition, they will be considered a priority group for access to training initiatives for employment during their periods of inactivity.

Do they have the right to unemployment?

-Yes, like any other worker, if they have contributed for the necessary period they will be able to collect unemployment benefits; however, they are not counted as registered unemployed but as unemployed job seekers, since they are not fully available to work, as was the case with ERTE workers during the pandemic.

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