The European Commission (EC) will demand that the labor reform prepared by the Ministry of Labor, led by Yolanda Díaz , maintain the flexibility of the Spanish labor market. Community sources consulted by elEconomista assure that they have not yet received the details of the changes that the Government of Spain is preparing in terms of collective bargaining. However, they underline that Brussels will analyze “in detail” the reforms and will demand “to maintain the flexibility of the Spanish labor market” to avoid “steps backwards” that suppose a greater rigidity of hiring for the companies.

The Commission assures that labor policy is one of the main issues of concern in the EU. The intention of the European authorities is that companies can adapt “quickly” to the evolution of the economy and the labor situation. For this reason, they asked Spain to send them a preliminary report with future reforms regarding collective bargaining, as this newspaper announced in June. According to community sources, at the time they get the report, it will be “carefully” analyzed.

The labor reform of the Popular Party – which now wants to reform the Executive – was agreed with the European institutions in 2012. The vice president of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis , already answered last year to a question from MEP Luis Garicano, who “It is important that there is no going back in the applied reforms.”

Results of the reform
The EC requires the Ministry of Labor to send Brussels a detailed report on how the 2012 labor reform approved by the Popular Party has worked in Brussels before tackling the collective bargaining reform currently on the social dialogue table. matter.

In the Working document of the European Commission Services on the Recovery and Resilience Plan , Brussels requires that “the reform [referring exclusively to the collective bargaining part ] must be accompanied by an ex ante evaluation report of the deficiencies in the current legislation [in reference to that approved in 2012 by the Government of Mariano Rajoy] regarding collective bargaining “.

Sources from the Ministry of Labor acknowledged such a request from Brussels to eE three months ago and confirmed that it was a long-exposed request by the community authorities since October 2020. Then they pointed out to this newspaper that the document would be sent “soon” to Brussels, something that has not yet occurred.

“Spain has not been able to indicate what will be the modifications that it is planning to introduce”

A request that is framed in the scant detail of the content of the reforms in labor matters that the Ministry of Labor presented to the European Commission. In the same working document, the Commission’s services pointed out that “Spain has not been able to indicate what will be the modifications that it is planning to introduce in the system, so as not to prejudge the outcome of the social dialogue in this regard.”

However, the European Commission establishes some considerations on the objectives to be met by the future Spanish collective bargaining system. It literally says that the reform provided for in component 23 (Labor market) be carried out with full respect for social dialogue and “following a comprehensive approach that balances the need for flexibility and security in the labor market, in support of a job-creating recovery “. And he says that “it is expected that, thanks to its design, the reform will sustain competitiveness and job creation , mainly by ensuring that companies can adjust quickly to the evolution of the economy and that wages respond to situations that affect the economy. productivity in the medium term “.

Repeal of 2012
The changes in collective bargaining proposed by the Ministry of Labor in the current bargaining table are clearly linked to changes introduced in 2012 by the Popular Party in the Workers’ Statute (ET).

In that reform, the popular ones introduced two important changes in the structure of collective bargaining: it repeals the ultra-activity of the agreements and introduces the prevalence of company contracts over the sectorial ones. The Labor proposal is to return both legal precepts to the one prior to 2012, that is, to recover the ultra-activity and the prevalence of sectoral agreements.

Sources from the Ministry of Labor, who acknowledge that this report has not yet been sent
What Brussels has asked Labor is a report on the impact that the PP reforms have generated on collective bargaining. However, sources from the Ministry of Labor, who acknowledge that this report has not yet been sent , point out that sending the study does not condition the sending of the labor reform.

Union sources indicate that the CEOE agreed to changes in these points before the pandemic, but that they have currently changed their position.

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