What does 2014 hold in store on the employment front?
2014 will see an array of new labor and employment-related developments. For starters, the coming year will bring with it the second labor reform, as recently announced by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. To judge from the advance preview offered by the Ministry, the changes ushered in under the new reform are set to take the form of (i) making part-time contracts more flexible (in a bid to cut jobless numbers), (ii) new developments in terms of collective bargaining, and (iii) cutting the number of contractual models to five (indefinite-term, temporary, handover, work experience and training and apprenticeship contracts), having ruled out the idea of the “single contract”. Work will also get underway on amendments to the Employment Law in order to cover all hiring-related incentives, ruling out the incorporation of the so-called “minijobs”.
Elsewhere, in the wake of the Supreme Court Judgment of May 21, 2013, rendering Royal Decree 1707/2011 null and void as a matter of law, work has begun on a Draft Royal Decree regulating the external academic work experience of university students, which seeks to include students performing extracurricular external academic work experience under the regime, while excluding those performing mandatory curricular external placements.
The pension system is also due for an overhaul, with work currently underway on the Sustainability Factor Bill and the Pension Revaluation Index, providing, on the one hand, for adjustments to pension payments in line with changing life expectancy, introducing a sustainability factor into the calculation method as from 2019. On another note, modifications to the pension revaluation index are to be ushered in.
It is also worth recalling that, in the wake of the cleaning strike in Madrid, the government has announced its intention to draw up a Minimum Services Law, with a view to ensuring that such services are provided during times of labor strife.
In any event, one thing is clear, the increase in paternity leave to four weeks will not take place this coming year, having been pushed back another year and now due to take effect in 2015.
Garrigues Labor and Employment Department