European justice rules out long-term temporary workers in Spain: they must be permanent

Coup against Spain in Luxembourg. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has taken a position against the abuse of the figure of long-term temporary workers in the public administration and considers that Spain should make them permanent. The decision, which responds to a preliminary question raised by the High Court of Justice of Madrid, considers that Spain has not taken adequate measures to prevent and punish the excessive use of this type of contract, and as a solution sees the situation for thousands of people corrected, although it leaves the ball in the court of the Spanish legislator.

“The framework agreement on fixed-term work contradicts the national legislation, which does not provide for objective reasons justifying the maximum duration of fixed-term contracts or renewal of employment relations. Employment contracts or employment relationships and the number of their renewals, nor any “equivalent legal measures” to prevent the abuse of unrecorded indefinite contracts,” the CJEU said.

“In the absence of adequate measures in national law to prevent and, where appropriate, to punish, in accordance with the Framework Agreement, abuses arising from the successive use of temporary contracts, including contracts extended consecutively for an indefinite period, this temporary conversion. Contracts in permanent contracts can represent such a measure,” Luxembourg judges argue, considering that European rules on temporary employment are being violated in Spain.

In addition, the court questions the compensation established within the framework of the legislation to reduce temporary employment in 2021 and which provides for 20 working days per year.

“The Court of Justice recalls that it has already stated that the payment of compensation for the termination of the contract does not allow the achievement of the objectives achieved by the framework agreement to prevent abuse through the consistent use of fixed-term contracts, since it appears that the payment is independent of the legitimate or abusive nature of the use of said contracts from any point of view. Therefore, this measure is not adequate to properly sanction such abusive use and to eliminate the consequences of non-compliance with Union law, and therefore does not in itself represent a sufficiently effective and dissuasive measure to ensure the full effectiveness of the standards. It was adopted in accordance with the framework agreement,” the ruling said.

Also, the CJEU strongly attacks stabilization processes by giving positions. “Although the current regulations set specific deadlines for the administration to convene these selection processes, in reality these deadlines are not followed and these processes are rare,” the court said.

“A national regulation which provides for the convening of selection processes with the aim of finally filling the positions temporarily occupied by temporary workers, as well as specific deadlines for this purpose, but which does not guarantee that these processes are actually called, does not seem capable of preventing the employer in question by the abuse of consecutive fixed-term labor relations. Consequently, without prejudice to the checks carried out by the Supreme Court of Justice of Madrid, it does not appear that the said regulations constitute a sufficiently effective and deterrent measure to guarantee the full effectiveness of the regulations adopted pursuant to the Framework Agreement. and therefore cannot be classified as an ‘equivalent legal measure’ for these purposes,” the court added.

Source: El Diario

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