Spain’s labour law reform demonstrates how a process of social dialogue between the government, workers (Comisiones Obreras and Unión General de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores) and employers (Confederación Española de Organizaciones Empresariales and Confederación Española de la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa) resulted in a tripartite agreement aimed at tackling some of the structural challenges faced by the Spanish labour market.
Adopted in December 2021, the reform aims to address the structural use of temporary forms of employment, a global trend that is particularly significant in Spain, while also providing businesses with alternative options to adapt the organisations’ labour force to changing circumstances. It also strengthens the role of collective bargaining as, under the new regulation, numerous labour issues may now be subject to negotiation.
The reform has already delivered important results: almost half of the new contracts signed in Spain in the first quarter of 2022 were open-ended employment arrangements (compared to 10% of previous decades). Such outcome also resulted in a significant increase in the share of open-ended contracts in total employment.
The impact of the reform illustrates how workers’ and employers’ organisations can contribute to shaping a balanced legislation that is effective in addressing the casualisation of work and improving labour market outcomes.