ISSN 2330-717X

Spain: Díaz Outlines Reforms To ‘Revolutionize’ Employment Market: ‘We Are Doing What Has Never Been Done Before’

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Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s Third Deputy Prime Minister of the Government and Minister for Work and Social Economy, has presented the Government’s new measures that will modernize and “revolutionise the employment market to adapt it to the 21st century” with eleven reforms and seven investments, earmarking 2.363 billion euros for this purpose.

These are the measures that comprise Component 23 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan; they are also designed to contribute to the ecological and digital transition, which are at the heart of the plan.

“The objective is to address two issues that make our country an anomaly: unemployment and job insecurity, two of the major factors that hold back the lives of the people in this country and limit families’ futures,” stated Díaz at the Component 23 presentation.

To incorporate the objectives covered with the European Commission, eleven strategic reforms have been formulated to address the objectives agreed with the European Commission, establish European best practice in this area and build on the EU’s considerable work to ensure that improved employment policies contribute to transforming the labour market.

“Over the past few decades, people adapted to an unstable employment market. Now we’ll build an employment market that is fit for people. It’s not about living to work, it’s about building jobs that allow us to live better lives,” said Díaz.

Regulations on working remotely and home delivery through digital platforms, “are highly innovative in Europe.” This latter regulation will be approved by the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. The plan also intends to simplify types of contracts and modernise active employment policies, and always aims to “promote decent work and put it at the heart of things.”

Component 23 envisages modernising employment relations with a new Employment Statute and transforming Active Employment Policies to achieve maximum efficiency and adapt to the digital age.

Youth and employment

Young people are one of the focus points of Component 23 and it includes strategic investment and projects that will make it easier for young people to find employment and improve training and research contracts.

Investment in Youth Employment will reach 765 million euros and includes the Tándem programme, which combines work-linked training and employment; the programme for first professional experience in public administrations; and the Investigo programme, which focuses on young people and researchers in Spanish universities, research centres and companies, with a strong gender perspective.

A further feature is the Youth Guarantee Plan, which “will be a great catalyst for generating youth employment in Spain.”

“These are not just words. We are going to be the first government to give young people a chance,” emphasized Díaz during her speech.

Equality as a driver of change

Measures to promote equality cut through every aspect of Component 23. In particular, efforts to close the gender gap have led to the creation of effective instruments such as IR!, the Spanish Equal Pay Tool. Investment also includes programs to support women in rural and urban areas.

“Change isn’t possible without half of the population. Women count. In this area we’re going to be radical on a fundamental right. Women in Spain have an ally in this Vice-Presidency and the Ministry of Work and Social Economy, and not just salaried women, but also self-employed women and young women who are unable to develop their own projects. There will be no recovery in Spain if women aren’t included in it,” stressed Díaz.

Modernization, digitization and green transition

The key aspects of this employment revolution include decent employment and the modernization of the production model, led by the ecological and digital transition. “The digital transition cannot only be a process that helps the younger generation, we have to support older people as well,” said Díaz.

A new social contract

Díaz has identified the “ineffectiveness” of previous legislative responses to the historically high rates of unemployment and job instability. “They have been damaging so the social contract will be reformulated, listening to different voices,” she said. It will be “an intergenerational pact, with a future for all. This is what this transformation will enable.

A social contract that restores social mobility and provides decent work for young people and decent pensions,” explained the third vice-president, who hopes that this document will strengthen Spain’s democratic institutions. “The social contract must look to the citizens and to our institutions,” she insisted, recalling the involvement of social representatives and the unemployed in its design.

These reforms will be published in the Official State Gazette before the end of the year, Díaz stated, and “the aim is to return the rights that have been taken away from workers in previous economic crises.” The Government is excited, stronger than ever, more united than ever. The legislature starts now. Our job is to give people hope: they aren’t prepared to hear that it’s time to tighten their belts,” concluded Díaz.

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