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The percentage of discontinuous permanent workers who are looking for another job doubles in three years

Date: October 1, 2023 Time: 18:15:45

The Spanish job market is changing. In large part, due to the labor reform agreed by the social agents at the end of 2021, but also due to the turn that the pandemic has taken in the way in which workers and employers understand labor relations. The rule promoted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy has achieved the objective sought, powerfully reduces temporary employment – at least, the contractual one – thanks to prioritizing permanent contracts over temporary ones. However, in this process, the figure of the discontinuous permanent contract has proliferated, an effect that Yolanda Diaz’s portfolio assures was sought, since it provides greater stability to those workers who chained temporary contracts. However, some experts gathered by Fedea expressed their doubts that this is the case in practice, given that the number of discontinuous permanent wage earners who are looking for another job has doubled in just three years.

Looking at 2020, it becomes clear that the entire weight of this process does not rest on the entry into force of the labor reform that dates from January 2022, but rather responds to changes in the expectations of the working-age population. after the worst of the pandemic. This is how Marcel Jansen, a researcher associated with Fedea, assesses it in conversation with La Información. The number of workers who claim to be looking for another job when asked about the Active Population Survey (EPA) grows as of the summer of 2020, precisely at the moment when the economy begins to recover. “Due to the pandemic, hiring was frozen and there was little point in looking for a job. But, as hiring picks up, the chances of finding a better job or moving to sectors less affected by the pandemic increase,” explains the economist

The historical series shows that this increase occurred automatically in workers with an ordinary permanent contract, those with a discontinuous permanent contract and temporary ones. According to data compiled by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in the first 2020 close to 5% of discontinuous permanent workers were looking for another job, while in the same period this year they were more than 10%. At the same time, temporary employees trying to change jobs have gone from representing just over 9% to close to 20%. In contrast, ordinary permanent workers barely increased by two percentage points.

“This contract may be insufficient to have a decent income”

For Jansen, it is relevant that the percentage of discontinuous permanent employees is halfway between regular permanent and temporary ones, and that an increase is not only registered in absolute terms -something attributable to the labor reform- but also in percentage. “This growth shows that this contract may be insufficient to achieve a decent or sufficient income” and, therefore, neither of what their income will be. “We are going to see an increase in people with several contracts at the same time,” she acknowledges. “It’s not very different from what we saw before with temporary contracts, but now it’s taking place with a permanent contract.” For this reason, the researcher associated with the CEOE think tank suggests that perhaps the job search rules for this group need to be rethought.

This figure, intended to provide intermittent activity, seeks to provide greater stability to workers, while responding to the characteristics of some economic sectors in which the demand for work is not constant. In fact, it is a very beneficial option for the company, since sending the employee to inactivity and, therefore, giving them the possibility of accessing an unemployment benefit, has zero cost for the employer, as they criticized from the same Institute. However, most analysts are prudent when it comes to venturing whether this transition from temporary contracts to discontinuous permanent ones has reduced uncertainty for workers and has contributed to reducing their precariousness, which they call “real” or “effective” temporary employment. .

1 in 8 discontinuous permanent employees look for another job

Currently, one in eight intermittent permanent workers seeks alternatives to improve their employment conditions, which explains why this group registers a significant number of voluntary redundancies, as highlighted by Florentino Felgueroso, a researcher at the same company. “Voluntary abandonment is very closely related to the discontinuous fixed,” he assessed this week in the presentation of the balance of the labor reform, a year after the restriction on temporary contracts began to operate. Although the number of resignations has grown considerably in the post-covid period, also among wage earners with an ordinary permanent contract, given that changing companies has become the main way to obtain better working conditions and an improvement in salary.

Since January 2022, the use of this contract, which is halfway between temporary and ordinary indefinite, has skyrocketed. It is not a new figure, as highlighted by the Vice President of the Government, but its growth has given rise to intense controversy over the number of workers who remain inactive and can receive unemployment benefits, despite not being reflected in the statistics of registered unemployment due to having a labor relationship. The Ministry has only provided these figures in a timely manner, although the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, acknowledges every month that intense work is being carried out with the autonomous communities -which are the ones that collect the data- to provide greater transparency in this process.

However, according to the affiliation data shared by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, the weight of these contracts in overall job creation is moderate. As the Secretary of State for Social Security pointed out this Friday, in the month of May, the discontinuous fixed only 8% of the affiliation and 6.5% of the registrations of the last month, while it has occurred in more than one million the number of temporary contracts signed for a year. The last month before the summer used to be characterized by a significant increase in temporary hiring, as a consequence of the ‘summer effect’ that mainly boosted the hospitality industry. In addition, Borja Suárez has pointed out that of the four million temporary workers that there were at the beginning of 2022, 54% today have an indefinite contract, of which only 10% are of a permanent discontinuous nature.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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