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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
(Catalonia, Spain)
E-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu
Web: www.ferrancamas.com
Tweteen: @FerranCamasRoda
The Influence of European on Spanish
social law: The labour market reforms in
Spain

Les conséquences sur le droit social
espagnol des pressions de l’UE: La
Réforme du Travail en Espagne
Universiteit Antwerpen. Faculteit Rechten.
25/10/2013
What is Spain’s main problem?
1º UNEMPLOYMENT
2º CORRUPTION AND FRAUD
3º ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

4º POLITICIANS
3
POINTS OF INTEREST CONCERNING THE
SPANISH LABOUR MARKET
1. Focused on the building industry (“housing
bubble burst” in 2009); services and
tourism.

2. Characterized by small companies (8 out of
every 10 have two, one or no employees).
3. In July 2013, the unemployment rate was
26,4%.
4
Unemployment and voulnerable groups:

• The Unemployment
rate is high amont the
young people, 51 % of
whom are unemployed

BUT MORE ALARMING
IN:
• ADULTS OVER 45 and
OLDER POPULATION
(+55)
• IMMIGRANTS
• “Brain drain”.
5
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
6. State regulation trhough labour laws has
exerced a strong influence in shaping labour
relations;
collective
bargaining
has
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.
7
EXPLANATION OF THE LABOUR
MARKET REFORMS
•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.
8
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
privileged.
•Political opinion created the idea that “Spanish
had lived beyond their means”
9
THE MAIN LINES OF THE REFORM
1. The Law includes
measures intended
to favour the
“worker’s
employability”:

• 1.1 Widened the scope
of Temporary
Employment Firms.
• 1.2 Promoted
temporary contracts for
training for workers (1630): They earn less
thant National
Minimum Wage.
10
2. Promotes permanent
contracts and favour
creation of
employment:

• 2.1 New permanent
contract for SMEs with
a one-year probationary
period.

• 2.2 Promotes Part-time
contracts with
possibility to do
overtime.

11
3.1 Make easier to change
worker’s fonctions.
3. Favour internal
flexibility as an
alternative to job
destruction
(Wide ranging powers to the
employer: the employer
as “The Lord of the
manor).

3.2 Allow the employer
distribute 10% of the
annual working day
irregularly.
3.3 Greater powers to
employer to make
substantial changes of
working conditions
12
AS A RESULT:
Working conditions
that the employer
should change may
be related with:
• SALARY
• WORKING DAY or
DAILY WORKING
HOURS.

• REDUCTIONS IN PAYS
OR PAY FREEZE IN
COLLECTIVE
BARGAINING
• MORE DAILY WORKING
HOURS (WITHOUT
COMPENSATION)

In fact, Not in SMEs, but in COMPANIES WITH
OVER 50 or 250 WORKERS
13
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.
14
3.4 The reform gives priority to firm level
collective agreements.
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.

15
4. The Government
“favour the
effectiveness of the
labour market and
reduce duality”

4.1 In collective
dismissals, eliminating
the autorisation of the
Public Labour
Administration

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.
16
In fact, companies have taken
advantage of this opportunity to
reduce staff members, in
preference to the option of
making working conditions more
flexible
17
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.

18
CONCLUSION ON WHAT THE
LABOUR REFORMS HAVE MEANT:
1. A power imbalance in favour of the
employer.
2. An increase in situations of irregular or
atypical employment, which is also
related to the informal economy

19
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.

20
5. The labour reforms have been a disaster in
targeting job creation.
6. Loos of an important number of Public
Administration workers.
7. To sum up, the labour market reforms are
not resolving the unemployment situation:
poverty and social inequality are increasing
21
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.

22
Thank you very much
Dr. Ferran Camas Roda
E-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu
Web: www.ferrancamas.com
Twitter: @FerranCamasRoda

Antwerpen, 25/10/2013

23

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The labour market reforms in Spain

  • 1. 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 (Catalonia, Spain) E-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu Web: www.ferrancamas.com Tweteen: @FerranCamasRoda
  • 2. The Influence of European on Spanish social law: The labour market reforms in Spain Les conséquences sur le droit social espagnol des pressions de l’UE: La Réforme du Travail en Espagne Universiteit Antwerpen. Faculteit Rechten. 25/10/2013
  • 3. What is Spain’s main problem? 1º UNEMPLOYMENT 2º CORRUPTION AND FRAUD 3º ECONOMIC PROBLEMS 4º POLITICIANS 3
  • 4. POINTS OF INTEREST CONCERNING THE SPANISH LABOUR MARKET 1. Focused on the building industry (“housing bubble burst” in 2009); services and tourism. 2. Characterized by small companies (8 out of every 10 have two, one or no employees). 3. In July 2013, the unemployment rate was 26,4%. 4
  • 5. Unemployment and voulnerable groups: • The Unemployment rate is high amont the young people, 51 % of whom are unemployed BUT MORE ALARMING IN: • ADULTS OVER 45 and OLDER POPULATION (+55) • IMMIGRANTS • “Brain drain”. 5
  • 6. 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
  • 7. 6. State regulation trhough labour laws has exerced a strong influence in shaping labour relations; collective bargaining has 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. 7
  • 8. EXPLANATION OF THE LABOUR MARKET REFORMS •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. 8
  • 9. 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 privileged. •Political opinion created the idea that “Spanish had lived beyond their means” 9
  • 10. THE MAIN LINES OF THE REFORM 1. The Law includes measures intended to favour the “worker’s employability”: • 1.1 Widened the scope of Temporary Employment Firms. • 1.2 Promoted temporary contracts for training for workers (1630): They earn less thant National Minimum Wage. 10
  • 11. 2. Promotes permanent contracts and favour creation of employment: • 2.1 New permanent contract for SMEs with a one-year probationary period. • 2.2 Promotes Part-time contracts with possibility to do overtime. 11
  • 12. 3.1 Make easier to change worker’s fonctions. 3. Favour internal flexibility as an alternative to job destruction (Wide ranging powers to the employer: the employer as “The Lord of the manor). 3.2 Allow the employer distribute 10% of the annual working day irregularly. 3.3 Greater powers to employer to make substantial changes of working conditions 12
  • 13. AS A RESULT: Working conditions that the employer should change may be related with: • SALARY • WORKING DAY or DAILY WORKING HOURS. • REDUCTIONS IN PAYS OR PAY FREEZE IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING • MORE DAILY WORKING HOURS (WITHOUT COMPENSATION) In fact, Not in SMEs, but in COMPANIES WITH OVER 50 or 250 WORKERS 13
  • 14. 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. 14
  • 15. 3.4 The reform gives priority to firm level collective agreements. 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. 15
  • 16. 4. The Government “favour the effectiveness of the labour market and reduce duality” 4.1 In collective dismissals, eliminating the autorisation of the Public Labour Administration 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. 16
  • 17. In fact, companies have taken advantage of this opportunity to reduce staff members, in preference to the option of making working conditions more flexible 17
  • 18. 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. 18
  • 19. CONCLUSION ON WHAT THE LABOUR REFORMS HAVE MEANT: 1. A power imbalance in favour of the employer. 2. An increase in situations of irregular or atypical employment, which is also related to the informal economy 19
  • 20. 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. 20
  • 21. 5. The labour reforms have been a disaster in targeting job creation. 6. Loos of an important number of Public Administration workers. 7. To sum up, the labour market reforms are not resolving the unemployment situation: poverty and social inequality are increasing 21
  • 22. 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. 22
  • 23. Thank you very much Dr. Ferran Camas Roda E-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu Web: www.ferrancamas.com Twitter: @FerranCamasRoda Antwerpen, 25/10/2013 23