The labour reform, the result of consensus between the Government, business associations and trade unions, has already entered into force. The main objective of the reform is reduce the temporary employment rate, limit the abusive, unjustified and disproportionate use of temporary hiring, and promote job stability. Will this objective be achieved? Let’s see.
On the one hand, several measures have been adopted that modify the regulation of temporary contracts. Thus, it has been expressly established in the law that the employment contract is presumed to be concluded for an indefinite period. Now this is nothing new. Until now, the employment contract was also presumed indefinite (fixed) since a temporary contract could only be concluded when the company could justify a temporary cause, such as an unexpected increase in orders, the performance of a certain work or service. , or the temporary replacement of a worker. The problem is that companies have been using systematic and fraudulent temporary contracts to cover permanent needs of its productive cycle. In practice, this implied the temporary hiring of a worker, his dismissal after a few months with reduced severance pay, and the subsequent hiring of a new worker with a reduced salary and no seniority (and starting over).
Well, the labor reform aims to fight against this fraudulent temporary hiring model. One of the measures implemented has been the elimination of the temporary contract to cover a specific work or service, contract widely used by companies. In this way, a company that intends to use a temporary contract will only be able to sign the contract for production circumstances (to cover an occasional and unpredictable increase in work) and the contract for substitution (to replace workers who are on leave, for example). However, although the reform has introduced some changes in its regulation, these two types of contracts already existed until now. And, in fact, the production circumstances contract had also been used fraudulently by many companies. In this sense, the duration of said contract has not been modified, which can be extended for six months and even 12 if the collective agreement allows it. Therefore, we can conclude that companies that intend to continue using temporary contracts to avoid signing permanent contracts have it as simple as continuing to use this type of contract.
On the other hand, the amount of fines has been increased considerably for companies that resort to fraudulent temporary hiring. That is, for companies that use a temporary contract without there being a cause that justifies the temporary nature (in which case an indefinite contract should have been signed). For these purposes, the amount of the penalty will be at least 1,000 euros for each temporary contract used in fraud of the law, when until now the minimum amount of the fine was 751 euros regardless of the number of fraudulent contracts used by the company. business. For example, if up to now a labor inspector detected three fraudulent temporary contracts, he could impose a minimum fine of 751 euros; On the other hand, if it detects said infringement from now on, the sanction for the company will be 3,000 euros (1,000 euros for each contract). The difference is substantial. Now, if this measure is not accompanied by a greater endowment of resources for the Work inspection, it can be left in borage water. The current number of inspectors and sub-inspectors is not enough to fight with guarantees against business fraud and, in addition, the number of places that are offered each year to access this type of opposition are scarce.
In short, we are facing a labor reform that it will hardly end fraud in temporary hiring. And if not, why have business associations and related entities been so satisfied with this new regulation? To reflect.