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Spain restores sectoral collective bargaining and boosts workplace rights

SPAIN today passed labour reforms hailed by its communist Employment Minister Yolanda Diaz as the “beginning of the end of labour market anomalies involving temporary and precarious work.”

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet adopted the labour legislation on the same day his budget — the biggest-spending in Spain’s history — passed in the Senate.

It revokes 2012 “reforms” that cut redundancy pay and limited the rights of trade unions, and restores sectoral collective bargaining in law.

It also requires employers to make temporary contracts permanent after a worker has been employed for three months. Employers found breaching the rules will be fined.

“This is the first labour reform since Spain became a democracy that restores workers’ rights,” trade union federation UGT deputy leader Mariano Hoya said.

Spain’s budget increases investment in education and healthcare, while making a furlough scheme introduced because of the pandemic a “permanent fixture” that can be deployed in periods of economic uncertainty. 

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