Dr. Ferran Camas Roda
Professor of Labour and Social Security Law and
Director of the Chair of Immigration, Rights and
Citizenship at the University of Girona
The Influence of European on Spanish
social law: The labour market reforms in
Les conséquences sur le droit social
espagnol des pressions de l’UE: La
Réforme du Travail en Espagne
Universiteit Antwerpen. Faculteit Rechten.
What is Spain’s main problem?
2º CORRUPTION AND FRAUD
3º ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
POINTS OF INTEREST CONCERNING THE
SPANISH LABOUR MARKET
1. Focused on the building industry (“housing
bubble burst” in 2009); services and
2. Characterized by small companies (8 out of
every 10 have two, one or no employees).
3. In July 2013, the unemployment rate was
Unemployment and voulnerable groups:
• The Unemployment
rate is high amont the
young people, 51 % of
whom are unemployed
BUT MORE ALARMING
• ADULTS OVER 45 and
• “Brain drain”.
4. National Minimum Wage: 645,30 e. (month) /
21,51 e. (day)
The average salary: 19.900 e. (year)
The most common salary is 15.500 e. (year)
5.Market duality between workers wiht
permanent contracts and temporary workers.
6. State regulation trhough labour laws has
exerced a strong influence in shaping labour
influenced in salaries and daily working
hours (nowdays, this change with reforms).
7. The role of the judicial authority in
conflict management has increased at the
expense of Public Labour Authorities.
EXPLANATION OF THE LABOUR
•The Conservative Government promoted a series
of legislatives amendments by taking “urgent”
measures (undermining the idea of democray and
functioning of the Parliament)
•Criticism (Manifesto in favour of Decent work and
Total collective freedom): the Goverment grants
exorbitant powers to employers and don’t
contemplates collective bargaining as a tool for
correcting unfair labour relationship.
POLITICAL FRAMEWORK OF REFORM
•To blame labour laws for the poor functioning of
the labour market
•The idea of a large number of public service
workers and that their working condicions were
•Political opinion created the idea that “Spanish
had lived beyond their means”
THE MAIN LINES OF THE REFORM
1. The Law includes
to favour the
• 1.1 Widened the scope
• 1.2 Promoted
temporary contracts for
training for workers (1630): They earn less
2. Promotes permanent
contracts and favour
• 2.1 New permanent
contract for SMEs with
a one-year probationary
• 2.2 Promotes Part-time
possibility to do
3.1 Make easier to change
3. Favour internal
flexibility as an
alternative to job
(Wide ranging powers to the
employer: the employer
as “The Lord of the
3.2 Allow the employer
distribute 10% of the
annual working day
3.3 Greater powers to
employer to make
substantial changes of
AS A RESULT:
that the employer
should change may
be related with:
• WORKING DAY or
• REDUCTIONS IN PAYS
OR PAY FREEZE IN
• MORE DAILY WORKING
In fact, Not in SMEs, but in COMPANIES WITH
OVER 50 or 250 WORKERS
Another consequence of importance
of powers granted to company
manegement: situations in which
the employer unlawfully asks the
salaried worker to become selfemployed if he/she whises to
continue working for the company.
3.4 The reform gives priority to firm level
3.5 Possibility of “opting out” from a wide
number of obligations from collective bargaining
of productive sectors.
3.6 The reform terminate with so called “ultraactivity” of collective agreements.
4. The Government
effectiveness of the
labour market and
4.1 In collective
the autorisation of the
4.2 It’s easier for the
employer to sack
workers either by
protecting reasons for
dismissal by law, or by
reducing the amonut
paid in compensation.
In fact, companies have taken
advantage of this opportunity to
reduce staff members, in
preference to the option of
making working conditions more
THE CONTINUATION OF LABOUR
REFORMS-SHORT TERM PLANS
• The pension system.
• The active labour market policies: the support of greater
presence of private placement agencies.
•Providing the working population with the level
competence needed (the needs of the labour market).
•Reduce number of people at risk of poverty.
CONCLUSION ON WHAT THE
LABOUR REFORMS HAVE MEANT:
1. A power imbalance in favour of the
2. An increase in situations of irregular or
atypical employment, which is also
related to the informal economy
3. Loos of Union bargaining power in
relation to working conditions.
4. Loos of power of the Public
Administration to mediate in resolving
labour conflicts, and increase in the
importance of the Labour Courts.
5. The labour reforms have been a disaster in
targeting job creation.
6. Loos of an important number of Public
7. To sum up, the labour market reforms are
not resolving the unemployment situation:
poverty and social inequality are increasing
The Popular Party’s form of
government and way of legislating is
taking its toll on Spanish democracy.
The establishment of the State of
Spain as a Welfare State has been
called into question.
Thank you very much
Dr. Ferran Camas Roda