June 15, 2021

The Bank of Spain foresees that its ‘Austrian backpack’ proposal would benefit 70% of workers




The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, defended this Wednesday in Congress that the ‘Austrian backpack’ would benefit, according to his economists, 70% of the workers. This is what he has indicated about the proposal made by the organization in its annual report: it would turn out that this percentage of employees would “win.” «What there is, evidently, it is a redistribution in order to reduce the problem that motivates it, which is duality, which originates from the differences in that employment protection that exists between the different contracts ”, has abounded in the Economic Commission of the Congress of Deputies.

This mechanism consists of the contribution by the company of a fund for each worker that can later be recovered upon retirement, due to dismissal or, partially, if the company changes. The body commanded by Pablo Hernández de Cos
proposed in its annual report a system in which a reduction of 50% is set
of the current dismissal costs for companies that, in return, would have to pay for their employees’ ‘backpacks’, at the rate of six days per year worked.

To help companies ‘fill the backpacks’ of its workers at the beginning, the Bank of Spain proposes that the State contribute 8,031 million in the first four years –at a rate of five days per year worked in the first year, four in the next, then three and finally two–. Part of this financing, he proposes, can come from European funds.

Faced with criticism from some parliamentary groups such as United We Can or ERC, who have made it look like a formula to lower the cost of dismissal, Hernández de Cos has detailed that the Bank of Spain’s proposal has been drawn up “So that the total compensation does not change”. The ERC deputy, Joan Capdevila, has ironized that instead of ‘Austrian’, the backpack could be called ‘bank’, and Hernández de Cos recalled that in the debates about its possible implementation in the 2010 labor reform, approved by the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, “suggested the possibility” of being paid by Fogasa, the public wage guarantee fund.

Call to PP and PSOE to agree on reforms

Hernández de Cos has once again taken advantage of his time in the Congress of Deputies to call for the «political consensus» to approve far-reaching reforms, specifically, the PP and the PSOE, and their deputies Elvira Rodríguez and Pedro Casares, who have intervened in the Commission.

«Mrs. Rodríguez has started her speech by talking about consensus. Mr. Casares finished his speech by talking about consensus. I believe that there is a breeding ground for this demand, not only from the governor but also from the citizens, to materialize in practical terms», Has finished his reply.

Defend the banking adjustment

Along with this, in the face of criticism from the Government of the massive layoffs that entities such as Caixabank or BBVA are going to carry out, it has defended the structural adjustments carried out by the banks to improve the solvency and future prospects of the sector. “Adjustment, from the supervisor’s perspective, it is necessary to improve the profitability of the banking sector and to make it more solvent, “he considered. In fact, he recalled that as a supervisor he can only limit variable remuneration in entities “on a case-by-case basis” and for solvency reasons.

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