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Spain – Calls to rebalance the labour market

20 August 2013

The president of the Confederation of Spanish Business Organisations (CEOE), Juan Rosell stated that the Spanish labour market is absolutely ‘dual-ised’ and that the balance between permanent and temporary employment needs to be re-addressed. 

With 90% of new contracts being temporary in nature, Juan Rosell called for greater parity: “Ideally, [we need] a labour market where there is no difference between permanent and temporary [jobs].”

The ‘dual-ised’ labour market has been closely tied to the growing unemployment in Spain by research carried out by Madrid-based University of Carol III. The study concluded that a greater difference between permanent and temporary contracts resulted in fewer temporary positions being made permanent.

Toni Ferrer, Trade Union Secretary for UGT, accused the CEOE of adding a new twist to the labour reform because it wanted to increase job insecurity and cut workers’ rights. Ferrer also pointed out that in recent years 400,000 permanent jobs have been lost, compared with a -93% drop in temporary billing.

A statement from the Confederation of Workers Commission (CCOO) said: “The objective of this proposal, which may be as a result of the August heat, is to leave no difference between permanent and temporary jobs in the labour market. Translated, this means quite simply reducing the full rights and creating more precarious labour conditions, so that all we are left with is temporary workers on demand.”    

Spain is currently facing one of the highest unemployment levels in Europe. According to Eurostat, the statistical body of the European Union, Spanish unemployment in June was 26.3%. With the second highest unemployment level in Europe, after Greece with 26.9%, Spanish unemployment is more than twice the Eurozone average (12.1%) and the European Union average (10.9%). 

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