Díaz points to "a very heavy business culture" as part of the problem of productivity in Spain

MADRID, 21 Nov.

Díaz points to "a very heavy business culture" as part of the problem of productivity in Spain


The Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, commented on Monday that Spain has "a productivity problem", with a "negative differential with Europe", and has blamed part of it on "a very heavy business culture, very slow, based on face-to-face".

Díaz has questioned the operation of these companies and has recalled that "motivation and non-connection" are key to improving the productivity of workers.

"Since the 19th century, this is the most complex debate and it is taking place in Spain very easily. It is not about four-hour days. Working time is the most sensitive matter in the business world, it has to be very well thought out", Díaz said at the table "Labor Rights in the Metafuturo", at the Metafuturo event, organized by La Sexta.

The Minister of Labor has lamented this "culture of precariousness" installed in companies and has indicated that it is related to "cultural factors" in Spain. However, she considers that these behaviors are changing and her Ministry continues to work to "widen the disconnection factor."

Díaz has also defended remote and distance work, as new forms of work, with some already recognized rights, such as the right to disconnect, included in Article 20 bis of the Workers' Statute.

"The right to disconnect must be respected. The worker and the employer have to agree on the number of hours in which they have to be connected or available. They have to agree on it in detail, in such a way that the worker can organize their time as best estimate. Labor rights come there too. If there is a place where you can control the connection, it is when you work remotely, easier than in person," the Minister of Labor stated.

Díaz also spoke at this event about the Rider Law, "the most difficult" to negotiate in the social dialogue because "data and algorithms, which are owned by someone, from very large multinationals" were being discussed.

The minister highlighted the role of the social agents at this dialogue table and, in particular, that of employers, who "understood that it was essential to regulate the use of algorithmic or mathematical forms" and defend "the right to competition" against to multinationals.

The Rider Law has served as an example for legislation in other countries and as the basis for the future European directive in this regard, which will be discussed next month in a council of European ministers, as Díaz has advanced.

Among the achievements of his Ministry, he has also highlighted algorithmic transparency, included in article 64 of the Workers' Statute, which has been, in his opinion, "a great contribution to the legal debate" in Spain and the world.

The minister pointed out that these advances bring the legislation closer to "the reality of the world of work" in Spain, a "new digital country" that also requires a "new social contract" and labor protection.

"The digital economy is very extensive and we have to address it in depth, without any fear. The use of technology and digital elements in our lives and in the economy is very positive," he said.

The minister has invited workers to train to face these changes and has urged society to start "a serene debate" to "provide rights" to citizens in the face of new realities, such as the metaverse.

Díaz has declared herself "fascinated by the digital world and digital rights", and has defended that this debate should be approached without "any fear". The Minister of Labor has moved away from the "disaster and techno-pessimism" of the unions in the face of these issues and has advocated "taking these realities seriously" as a country.