The norm, which has survived 20 years of socialist governments, was approved in 1980 and retouched in 1995 and 2012
The Government has fully celebrated the repeal of dismissal for absenteeism, a rule in force in the Workers’ Statute approved on March 14, 1980. The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has assured that this decision begins to “Dismantle” the 2012 labor reform approved by the PP. “We are dismantling the labor reform of the PP,” said Diaz, repealing what he considered an “anomaly or exceptionality of Spain in relation to surrounding countries that lack such a precept.” However, the total suppression of article 52. d of the Workers’ Statute, which included the termination of dismissal for objective reasons linked to absenteeism was approved in 1980 with several exceptions. The rule, valid for 40 years, contemplated the termination of the contract by lack of work assistance, still justified, but intermittent, that reach the 20% of working days in two consecutive months, or the 25% in four discontinuous months within a twelve month period, provided that the absenteeism rate of the total workforce exceeds 5% in the same periods of time. Absences due to absences due to legal strike for the duration of the same, the exercise of activities of legal representation of workers, work accident, maternity, licenses and vacations, neither illness or accident at work, when the leave has been agreed by the official health services and have a duration of more than twenty consecutive days. In 1995, four more cases were introduced as exemptions: risk during pregnancy and lactation, diseases caused by pregnancy, childbirth or lactation; paternity and absences motivated by the physical or psychological situation derived from gender violence, accredited by the social services of health care or services. The rule sought to curb an endemic evil in the Spanish labor culture, repeated absenteeism, usually located well above the European average, except during the crisis, when it was reduced by almost 50%. What he did introduce the 2012 reform, or rather suppressed, it was the safeguard that it would only be considered valid the dismissal for absenteeism in case the total absenteeism of the workforce exceeds 5%
In 2018, the total loss of hours due to absenteeism reached almost 1,350 million, compared to just over 1,250 million in 2017. In terms of people, it is equivalent to saying that there were 753,000 employees who did not work throughout the year, a figure that implies increase compared to 701,000 employees not working in 2017, according to an Adecco report.
But despite 40 years in force, Díaz has assured that Article 52.d had generated “alarm” among society. “From now on we prevent people, when they feel more vulnerable, from being fired,” said the minister, who has justified the use of the figure of the Royal Decree-Law in which it is about preserving rights.