The “Good” PSOE-UP Government: “We Will Never Again Tell People That They Have To Tighten Their Belts”

ERTESSpanish Ministry of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, in a meeting with trade unions’ respresentatives at the left and employers’ representatives at the right

T.C. | Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz, whom Pablo Iglesias has designated as his successor in the (third) vice-presidency of the Government, yesterday presented the plans for the labour reform she intends to push through before year-end. With or without the agreement of the so-called “social partners”, i.e. trade unions and employers.

“The labour changes will be published in the BOE before the end of 2021. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and I are more united than ever,” the Minister assured. She added that “the legislature begins now. The changes start now and our job is to give people hope. We will never again say that we have to tighten our belts.”

According to Yolanda Díaz, the PP party’s reform will not be touched in terms of the cost of dismissal (which the Rajoy government reduced in 2012 from 45 to 20 days per year worked). However, the types of contract will be reduced to three, on the basis that all contracts are, in principle, indefinite. The working conditions of subcontractors will be modified and a new fund will be created, with contributions from employees and companies, to be able to deal with future ERTEs.

At the same time, Díaz announced the reform of the subsidy for those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The 1.17 million people who are currently in this situation receive up to 8 different types of subsidies or insertion income and will now receive a single subsidy, for the same amount of 452 euros. (Currently, 52.7% of the 2.2 million payments made by the SEPE (public employment service) in March were welfare benefits of this type, which could be integrated into this single subsidy from 2022 onwards. However, it is not clear what will happen to the unemployed who are not currently receiving any kind of benefit, which, according to government figures, account for four out of every ten.)

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