Spanish public officials who have been working in the same position uninterruptedly since 1 January 2016 will automatically become permanent employees of the administration and without the need to undergo an opposition exam.
The measure was agreed by the two partner parties of the center-left Government (PSOE and Unidas Podemos) and the Basque and Catalan nationalist groups in Parliament (PNV and ERC) during the negotiation of the bill for the regulation of temporary workers in public administrations.
The regulation that is being drafted seeks to reduce the temporary employment rate in public services, down to a maximum of 8%.To achieve this, it establishes the possibility that public servants who have been in the same position for more than 5 uninterrupted years can become permanent.
The government estimates that it will benefit some 300,000 public servants, to whom the new law will offer the possibility of consolidating their positions automatically. The unions and worker platforms say that the number of affected workers is much higher and stands at 800,000 people throughout Spain.
According to data from the Spanish Statistical Office (INE), currently 31% of Spanish public workers have temporary contracts. And most are concentrated in health and education services.
According to the bill, applicants for a permanent public position in this way will only have to undergo a "merit assessment" by the administration, instead of the traditional competitive examination.
Another novelty is that public administrations may call extraordinary opposition competitions to make temporary public servants who do not enter that five-year quota permanent.
The change agreed by the left and nationalist groups cuts the projected waiting time for temporary workers in half. The first version of the regulation presented last July said that public servants would had to work 10 years in the same position to become permanent officials.