Increasingly ephemeral contracts: ten days are reduced after the labor reform

The labor reform has been in force for more than a year and a half and has suddenly changed the hiring model in Spain. Thus, the labor reform has now been in force for more than a year and a half and has suddenly changed the hiring model in Spain. Thus, it has managed to correct in record time one of its endemic evils: excessive temporary employment, the highest in Europe, but, however, it is not being as successful in another of the problems that the labor market is dragging: high turnover of jobs and the proliferation of very short-term contracts. In fact, against all odds, far from increasing the duration of new jobs, it has reduced them and they are becoming more and more ephemeral.

Specifically, the average duration of contracts has fallen by almost ten days since it came into force. If in 2021 they were on average more than 54 days, in the second quarter of 2023 they were cut to 46. It is true that it has increased minimally compared to last year, but it is the second worst figure since 2006 for this period, according to the VI Quarterly Labor Market Observatory published this Tuesday by Adecco Group Institute together with the Cuatrecasas Institute.

This short duration is surprising since precisely the labor reform that came into force in 2022 implemented measures aimed precisely at fighting this bad practice of jobs that often last less than a week. And there are too many. During the month of July (data for August are still unknown) one in every five initial contracts was for just seven days or less, 19.3%, as this report highlights. If the extension is increased to one month, a duration that is also minimum to carry out a job, they were a third of all contracts signed in the middle of the summer campaign.

Extra penalty

The overpricing brought by the counter-reform, which raised the additional contribution for contracts of less than 30 days to 29.74 euros, is not proving to be a sufficient disincentive for business owners. This is also demonstrated in the all too widespread practice of a trail of sick leave occurring on the last days of the month. To the point that on August 31, 308,166 affiliates suddenly disappeared, one of the worst records in the series.

In addition, the boom in permanent hiring that the new norm brought is maintained but in a more nuanced way. Thus, 36.7% of the contracts signed in July were indefinite, compared to 44% registered in May, and, in addition, 38.4% of them were permanent, discontinuous, while 63.3% were temporary. .

“Few now question the necessary flexibility and that temporary employment is not always equivalent to job insecurity,” argues Javier Blasco, director of The Adecco Group Institute, who assures that “in sectors such as tourism, which is supporting an important part of our GDP and employment, temporality is a necessary characteristic due to the seasonal nature of the industry. And this can be extended to any economic activity. Furthermore, to achieve job sustainability and improve wage conditions, an approach that combines flexibility and job security is needed.

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