July 29, 2021

when the job does not last 24 hours

when the job does not last 24 hours


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The ultratemporalidad takes years gaining ground in the labor contracting in Spain. More and more jobs are covered with contracts of less than a week. And, of them, the most abundant are those that do not last more than a day; that is, those in which the worker is only registered in that company during a single day's work, and sometimes not even for his eight hours but for less. They are, in short, the contracts of a single day of duration, a modality of increasing use in the national productive fabric. The data is eloquent: currently, one-day contracts already account for more than 10% of total contracting in Spain. In the last two years they have represented around 14% of all labor contracts signed in our country.

On average, more than 250,000 contracts of one day (or a few hours) are signed each month in Spain. According to the official employment statistics, in 2016 a total of 2,639,184 contracts of this type were registered; in 2017 the figure rose to 2,834,524; Y from January to June of this year there were more than one and a half million contracts of one day (or less) in duration, so everything points to this 2018 will be closed with more than three million labor contracts of this type.

Ultratemporality is a phenomenon that is increasingly present in labor contracting in Spain. Take as an example the balance of the first nine months of this year: between January and September, 93.2% of all hiring was temporary; of it, 30% were contracts that did not last more than a week; and, of the latter, most last only one day (or a few hours). Another fact that illustrates the ultratemporality is that, currently, of the total number of work contracts signed in Spain for a whole year, around 20% do not exceed three days.

The abundance of temporary contracts in the Spanish economy is evident in the enormous disproportion between the net jobs created and the formalized labor relations. In 2017, Spain created 560,187 net jobs, but accumulated almost 21 million work contracts.

The high temporality has been controversial among socio-economic agents for years. The unions consider that the abundance of short-term contracts hides an abuse with tints of labor fraud. However, from employers of economic sectors that are especially accused of seasonality –case of the hotel business– deny that fraud can be widely discussed and argue that temporality is a reality linked to their own productive activity; and, therefore, consider it logical that short-term jobs be covered by contracts that respond to that specific need.

Cases of abuse

On the other hand, from the employer's office of the temporary work companies (Asempleo) they see fit that the Administration reinforces the labor inspections to prosecute the cases of abuse and fraud that-they indicate- occur in some companies. "Where there can be more fraudulent use of temporary contracts is in the form of contracts of less than seven days, and there the Inspection has to be much more intensive in its controls," says ABC Alejandro Costanzo, director of the technical office of Asempleo. And it considers that the facts have shown that the measure by which the Administration opted a few years ago has not been effective, that of penalizing ultratemporality by overloading the type of contribution that companies have to pay for workers hired for less than a week.

In the end, Costanzo affirms, that penalty in contributions ends up falling equally among all, between the companies that comply and those that make an abusive and fraudulent use of this form of ultratemporal contracts. "Companies that fail to comply with this burden should be prosecuted by companies that have shown to do well, including temporary employment agencies (ETTs)", affirms the director of the technical office of Asempleo. "We have to control that the contract really adapts to the labor needs that it covers," he insists.

Alejandro Costanzo emphasizes that the ETTs are subject to special controls by the Administration and with specific regulations on their activity. But -explains- "the recruitment of the ETT only covers 20% of all temporary contracts in Spain."

More control and sanctions

The Confederal Secretary of Employment of CCOO, Lola SantillanaHe also insists that the Labor Inspectorate needs to control more, to more effectively pursue the abusive use of temporary contracts – especially those of very short duration – and to tighten sanctions. «It is notorious that there is a fraudulent use of temporary contracts to avoid indefinite hiring». That is, cover as temporary jobs that are actually permanent, one of the typical cases of illegal work, stresses Lola Santillana, who warns that after the most extreme modalities of temporary -the one day- sometimes also hides the fraud of the submerged economy.

"There are increasingly more contracts of extremely short duration, each time there are more economic activities, and all without any reasonable or logical explanation to justify it," alleges Lola Santillana.

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