As if she were an ancient alchemist, the Labor Minister, Yolanda Diaz, tries to find a formula for employee well-being with two basic ingredients that many describe as “populist.” It is about improving, firstly, wages, as has already been done with the minimum inter-occupational wage (SMI), which has increased by 56% in less than five years and secondly, before 2025 The working day has been reduced from 40 to 37.5 hours.
The roadmap of the second vice president is very defined in her election program, in which she defends that “it is going to be legislation to cut wages and working hours,” and clearly admits that she will do it with or without it. Going to do. Agreement with the employer.
In this context, the leader of Sumar has also committed to bring the reduction of the working day to 37.5 hours as part of a social dialogue with unions and employers, but she will approve it even if the business side rejects it.
Another issue that Díaz put forward that he would work on and did not succeed in the Congress of Deputies due to the votes against Unidas Podemos, was the reform of the dismissal so that it would comply with the European Social Charter and be “deterrent”.
The Coalition government’s deregulation of coffee for all is causing growing unrest among trade organisations, who describe this political story as a “populist sanction” in labor matters in which the pros and cons must be carefully analysed.
The president of CEOE sees this reform as “increasing hidden costs for employers” by legislating a reduction in hours that is proportional to wages, without considering whether productivity is improved or not. Does not consider adjustment or contributory share. In this case for social security.
Some accounts, although they may be satisfactorily in the largest organizations due to their strength, solvency and level of competitiveness, however, for SMEs, which support 99% of the employees in Spain, the situation is the final touch and a good Part may result in loss of profitability.
Thus, for example, the Business Association has condemned that reducing the working hours of its employees would mean a hidden wage increase of 6.25% and warned that this will lead to a “severe loss of competitiveness” in local sales.
The Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (Sepime) has indicated that labor costs increased by 5.2% in the third quarter of 2023, while SME productivity declined by 0.9% in the same period, which is a significant impact of such measures. Makes it difficult. , which cuts hours and makes hiring more expensive.
Along the same lines, Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB, rejected the initiative, maintaining that regulating the reduction of working hours by law “would not be good from an economic point of view” and considered “It is better to leave this in the hands of the social partners and based on the specific situation of each company.
Yolanda Díaz specified that the adjustment of schedules without loss of salaries, which will benefit 12 million employees in the private sector, will be the main challenge of her ministry, so that she can concentrate a good part of the portfolio’s efforts within the social framework. Talk. , In his opinion, “Apart from improving people’s lives, this is an initiative with environmental benefits that will increase the country’s productivity.”
In short, this is a matter which, if legislated on well and with everyone’s consent, can benefit not only the workers but also the development of the country.