The social dialogue table to reduce working hours will start working next week

Labor wants to reinforce the operation of the time registration to ensure that the reduction in working hours is met.

The social dialogue table to reduce working hours will start working next week

Labor wants to reinforce the operation of the time registration to ensure that the reduction in working hours is met


The social dialogue table that will address the reduction of working hours in Spain without implying a salary cut will meet next week, specifically on Thursday, January 25, to begin its work.

This was announced a few days ago by the second vice president and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, who declared that this will be "the legislature of wages and working time."

The vice president stressed that Spain must reduce the working day, which has been frozen for "40 years" in Spain, and recalled this is one of the measures committed to in the Government agreement between the PSOE and Sumar.

Specifically, this agreement contemplates reducing the working day from the current 40 hours per week to 37.5 hours by 2025 without reducing wages. In between, the idea is that in 2024 the working day will be cut to 38.5 hours.

"We are going to reduce the working day that has been frozen for 40 years in our country, but without a salary reduction, because this is what is going to make us continue raising salaries in our country," the minister said a few days ago.

Sources from the Ministry of Labor have indicated that, as the effective average working day is already 38.5 hours a week, what will be worked on at the negotiation table is, above all, how to strengthen and improve the operation of the registry. schedule to which companies are obliged to actually comply with those 38.5 hours.

The announcement of the convocation of this table has been well received by the unions and with some suspicion by the business organizations. The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has shown himself "willing to talk" about the issue, but "not because a lady comes to impose her criteria on us because it is her milestone and star measure."

Garamendi considers that the reduction in the working day is "another implicit increase in the interprofessional minimum wage" and believes that "it will block collective bargaining" and "generate such significant uncertainty" that the employers' association is already warning its associates that " be careful with what is agreed."

For his part, the general secretary of CCOO, Unai Sordo, has celebrated the opening of the negotiation table to reduce working hours by law, a "necessary" issue that, in his opinion, must be addressed "as soon as possible."

"It is time to address both the reduction of the working day and a better guarantee in the distribution of working time, which seems to me to be a debate as important as the previous one," Sordo said a few days ago.

Regarding the CEOE's criticism of the reduction of working hours, Sordo has expressed his "surprise", since it is a measure that has been included for some time in the collective agreements signed by unions and employers.

"What we are proposing here is to give a letter of normality through the law to measures that in many sectors have already been promoted through collective agreements and that have been signed by the employers. What happens is that there are many sectors where continue to have abusive work hours and it is time to address this issue by law," Sordo said.

However, he specified that the union's intention is that the working day, working time and the distribution of the working day continue to be settled within the scope of collective agreements. "Now, if the law accompanies us in that area, the better," he added.

Regarding the complaint by the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, that reducing the working day implies an implicit increase in the SMI, the CCOO leader has indicated that, in any case, it would imply an improvement in the hourly wage, but not in the SMI.

For his part, the general secretary of UGT, Pepe Álvarez, sees it as positive that the Government is considering reducing the working day to 37.5 hours per week, but does not hide his desire for "this legislature to be one of 35 hours per week."

The last time in Spain there was a reduction in the maximum working day was in 1984 and cutting working hours was a claim and demand from the union organizations.

As a way to reduce the working day to the 38.5 hours per week committed to in the PSOE-Sumar agreement, Labor wants to improve the operation of the time record.

All companies, without exception, have been obliged since May 12, 2019 to record the daily hours of their workers under a Royal Decree-Law approved by the Government of Pedro Sánchez in March of that year.

The objective of this measure is to measure the duration of the working days and, therefore, the overtime, and also the breaks, which cannot be less than twelve hours between the end and beginning of the day or 36 hours per week, although with peculiarities. about its location on the calendar according to the sector in question.

The mandatory registration that companies must include the beginning and end of the worker's day, without prejudice to time flexibility, and is organized and documented through collective bargaining or company agreement or, failing that, by decision of the employer after consultation. with the legal representatives of the workers.

If there is no legal representation of the workers, it is the company that determines how the registration of working hours is organized and documented.

The company is obliged to keep the time records of its workers for four years and these must remain available to workers, unions and the Labor and Social Security Inspection. In case of non-compliance, the amount of the penalty can range from 626 euros if it is considered minor or reach 6,250 euros if it is classified as serious.