Tuesday. 28.05.2024

Spain's left-wing government has reached a key agreement with employers and trade unions on labour market reforms.

The new set of measures agreed on Thursday evening will replace controversial conservative labour market reforms from 2012.

The project was mainly driven by Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz of Unidas Podemos, the smaller coalition partner to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's Socialists.

The parliament would still have to approve the reform plans.

The agreement, which was insisted on by the EU, is intended to limit the number of temporary employment contracts, which until now have accounted for about a quarter of all employment relationships, the newspaper El Pais reported.

It also aims to restore the balance between employers and trade unions in collective bargaining.

High unemployment rate

The conservative reform of 2012 had given employers more flexibility in hiring and firing employees.

Sanchez had already reversed some parts of the reform.

Last year, for example, a decree repealed an article of the labour statute that allowed for summary dismissal for frequent sick leave.

The unemployment rate in Spain is still one of the highest in the EU at 14.5 per cent.

Spanish government reaches key labour deal with unions