The Government will rectify its ERTE proposal and eliminate the maximum percentage of temporary workers


Several gestures of the coalition government to try to bring positions closer in the negotiation of the labor reform. The social dialogue meeting this Wednesday has ended with new proposals, among which are changes on issues that did not convince the social agents. The Executive has promised to bring a new text for future ERTEs to the negotiating table next Friday, after confirming the rejection of the model presented last week. In addition, the measure to set a maximum percentage of temporary workers in companies is withdrawn, explain sources of social dialogue, and the conversation returns to focus on limiting the temporality from the causes that justify it, as Labor began months ago.

The negotiation on how to reduce temporary employment is still very open and goes well beyond the 15% percentage

The negotiation on how to reduce temporary employment is still very open and goes well beyond the 15% percentage

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The maximum limit of temporary workers in companies was a proposal by the employer at the negotiating table, but the employers rejected it when the Ministry of Labor included it in its text with the figure of 15%. The CEOE considered that it was too demanding a ceiling and, in addition, other limits to the temporality in the causes were not relaxed, so it opposed the measure. The unions also did not particularly like to establish a maximum percentage of temporary work, since they ensured that the fundamental thing was that he clearly delimited what motivates him. The economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, had also spoken out against the measure.

Thus, the Government has raised this Wednesday at the negotiating table to withdraw the maximum percentage of temporary workers, without setting a rate according to the different sectors, as was considered. The Executive has chosen to re-limit the temporality from the causes that can really justify it, as Labor raised at the beginning, although there are modifications incorporated this Wednesday.

Contracts for “occasional” work

The Government proposes that temporary hiring can be basically for two reasons: production circumstances (unpredictable work peaks) and for a substitution, but it has specified more in this last meeting the possibility of temporary hiring in case of “occasional jobs”.

The Ministry of Labor contemplated in its drafts that a temporary contract would be justified for productive reasons in the event of a “occasional and unpredictable increase in business activity that cannot be attended by the company’s usual staff”, but it specified that it could not subscribe for “jobs related to normal activity” of the company.

This, according to the employers, excessively restricted the flexibility of companies to expand the workforce for occasional jobs. In the unions, there was also concern about how to allow certain temporary hiring for “very occasional jobs that are foreseeable”, without opening the hand too much so as not to make room for an abusive temporality.

This Wednesday, the Government has brought to the table the conditions to allow contracts for these occasional jobs. These are, for example, jobs such as gift packing at Christmas or those related to a fair or parties that occur very occasionally, for example once a year, explain sources of the negotiation.

These occasional contracts will have more limits, according to the government’s proposal. They may not exceed three months in duration and, for the same position, the limit will be five months. In other words, different people with three-month contracts cannot be taking turns. In addition, the Executive proposes to introduce maximum limits to these contracts for occasional work depending on the size of the company, according to its staff, they explain from the social dialogue.

New ERTE proposal

Next Friday, the Government will also bring to the table a new text on future ERTE, which in its latest proposal – sponsored by the Economy and Social Security – called the Red Mechanism. The social agents expressed their opposition to this tool, which they consider very complex for the remainder of the negotiation and which in their opinion addressed too many issues, so the Executive has promised to bring a new offer on Friday. This week is the first that the social dialogue meetings have been doubled, Wednesday and now also Friday, in an attempt by the Government to reach a social agreement in the final stretch of the negotiation.

The meeting held this morning at the Ministry of Labor lasted just over four hours, until almost 2.30 pm. The Government has presented a comprehensive document with all the measures at stake, as requested by the unions. Since the dismantling of the labor reform of the PP in matters related to collective bargaining, subcontracting, training contracts, temporary employment and future ERTE, among others.

“We have been reviewing each and every one of them. In some there are modifications that we have to analyze,” explained Mari Cruz Vicente, secretary of CCOO Union Action and Employment, at the end of the meeting. Regarding the labor reform of the PP, in the rebalancing of collective bargaining between companies and workers, the text that was already on the table has been maintained. A sample that, as the PSOE and United Podemos agreed after the internal crisis on the labor reform, the coalition agreement is respected in this regard.

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