Up to 221,188 people were affected in the first half of the year by the Government labour reform (ERE), with termination or temporary suspension, or by having to adopt a reduction in their working hours, a 48.6% increase over the same period of 2011. The number of affected in June increased by 33% over the same month last year, with a total of 45,103 workers affected.
The Ministry of Employment and Social Security, which has published the data accumulated up to the end of June, says this increase is “somewhat consistent with the recession situation in which we find the Spanish economy.”
According to data from the National Statistics Institute, in 2009, the first year of recession in this crisis, 326,496 workers were affected. However at that time there were 18.9 million people employed compared to the 17.4 million people registered as employed in the second quarter of this year.
The Government labour reform, to introduce more flexibility in the labour market and lower the cost of dismissal, was approved by Congress on 28th June last year, but only came into force in February, when it was approved by Decree.
The Ministry of Employment’s analysis points to “a deepening of the tendency to use more intensive internal flexibility measures as an alternative to dismissal.” Dismissal measures have dropped, from affecting 19.7% of all workers subject to layoff procedures in the first half of 2011, to 16.2% in 2012, confirming the trend with a reduction of three and a half percentage points.
El Mundo reported that the reduction in working hours has gained prominence affecting more temporary EREs. In the first half of last year 4% of the total were affected by this measure, a percentage that rose to 21% this year.
According to the Government, this year’s data “imply a better functioning of the Spanish labour market, which slows the loss of jobs in a recessionary environment through the use of temporary lay-offs or reduced working hours.”