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In the last few days of March, new regulations on social and labor issues have been published.
We will summarize in a brief practical explanation the main novelties that have arisen, both the publication of Royal Decree-Law 6/2019, of March 1, of urgent measures to guarantee equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men in employment and occupation, such as Royal Decree-Law 8/2019, of 8 March, on urgent social protection measures and the fight against job insecurity in the working day.
Maternity and paternity leave
Regarding the first of them:
- The suspension of the maternity contract of the biological mother is modified, which will be suspended for maternity for sixteen weeks, of which the first six will be immediately and uninterrupted, and full-time, after birth.
The main novelty is the extension of paternity leave, gradually, to equalize this permission to the other parent’s sixteen-week maternity leave:
- Thus, as of April 1, 2019, paternity leave will be eight weeks, of which two will be immediate and uninterrupted after birth, the rest can be enjoyed at later dates with the limit of twelve months to from birth.
- During the year 2020, paternity leave will be for twelve weeks, of which four will be immediate and uninterrupted after birth, the rest may be enjoyed at later dates with the limit of twelve months from birth.
- During the year 2021, paternity leave will be sixteen weeks, of which six will be immediate and uninterrupted after birth, the rest can be enjoyed at later dates with the limit of twelve months from birth.
Modifications of the Workers Statute
In similar terms, amendments are introduced to the articles of the Statute of Workers that pursue the effective equality of men and women that we non-exhaustively mention:
- Nullity of the termination of the contract in the trial period of pregnant workers.
- Nullity of the employment contract due to wage discrimination based on sex.
- Nullity of dismissal without cause of workers who re-enter work after paternity leave, before the expiration of twelve months.
- The implementation of a mandatory register containing information on average wage values referenced by sex.
- Right to infant care, which both parents can exercise simultaneously, extending the period of enjoyment to twelve months, with a reduction in salary after nine months.
- Adaptation of the working hours of the workers, in their duration and distribution and the exercise of the care of the infant by both parents and simultaneously up to twelve months.
- The concept of “Work of equal value” is introduced, introducing the obligatory nature of the payment of the same remuneration to workers if the same factors related to their performance and working conditions in equivalent activities concur.
Record of the working day
Regarding the second of them, the articles of the Workers’ Statute will be edited, introducing the obligatory nature on the part of the companies of the daily record of the working day, including the concrete time regarding beginning and end of the working day of each worker.
The records will be obligatorily kept for four years, introducing the contravention of the foregoing as a serious infraction in the Law of Infractions and Sanctions in the Social Order.
Contracts for long-term unemployed
In matters of Social Security, bonuses are introduced to the indefinite hiring of long-term unemployed people, whose registration as jobseekers is greater than twelve months in the eighteen years prior to hiring. The amount of the bonuses will be € 1,300 for three years in the hiring of workers, and € 1,500 in the case of female workers. In part-time hiring, bonuses will be provided for the contractually stipulated working day.
It is very important to warn companies of the obligation to keep the hired worker in employment for a minimum period of three years from the date of commencement of the employment relationship and maintain the level of employment reached with the contract for at least two years since the conclusion of the employment relationship the same, otherwise the reimbursement of the subsidized amounts will be demanded.
However, the foregoing shall not be considered non-compliance in cases of contractual termination due to objective reasons or disciplinary dismissals declared appropriate, nor contractual terminations due to resignation, death, retirement or total permanent disability, absolute or severe disability of workers, or by the expiration of the agreed time, or completion of the work or service object of the contract, or by resolution during the trial period.
Subsidy for elderly unemployed
A new regulation of the unemployment subsidyfor the elderly is introduced, in this case, of 52 years, without any obligation of having fulfilled that age at the time of the event causing the subsidy, allowing access when reaching that age and increasing its maximum duration and increasing the contribution for retirement purposes.
N.B , Regarding the ongoing economic situation, there will be other changes in terms of benefits for birth and care of the child, previously called maternity, total permanent disability, maritime-fishing sector, and contributions of other special Social Security schemes.
The First Additional Provision indicates that the Government will constitute, before 30th June of this year, a group of experts for the proposal of a new Workers’ Statute, which makes us think that at the social-labor level many are coming and continued changes, of which we will duly inform in our publications.
Author: Ricardo Acosta