Work permits for family matters will be extended to cohabitants and new types of households

The Ministry of Labor is preparing a reform of work permits for family issues. To do this, the changes that Yolanda Díaz’s department is already working on are aimed at “expanding the family unit to adapt it to the new realities,” those responsible reported yesterday. Thus, the future Spanish legislation, which finalizes Work, will expand the circle of people responsible for these rights for care, not only family members but also “cohabitants”, a term that will be introduced in the new law to adapt these permits to the new family realities, they insist.

The reform will affect, therefore, what is regulated by article 37.3 of the Workers’ Statute, which includes permits for marriage, death, accident or serious illness, hospitalization or surgical intervention of relatives; or those to take charge of “the direct care of a relative up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity”. The new norm will introduce, therefore, the concept of living together for the enjoyment of it.

Labor took the first step yesterday for this reform of work permits by initiating the transposition of a European directive on the reconciliation of family and work life of parents and caregivers. According to this directive, Spain must now legislate to incorporate into Spanish regulations all the objectives of this community standard that does not yet comply with national law.

Specifically, Labor released the text yesterday for public consultation to execute this transposition where it indicates that in the case of the Spanish law “improvements are still required in the enjoyment of permits and absences, as well as precautions so that the uncertainty in the distribution of the time of work does not negatively affect or make necessary the total or partial resignation of women in the labor market.

On some issues, Spain has already done its homework. Thus, the European regulations include, for example, the right of workers to enjoy a leave for caregivers of five working days a year, although the Spanish law already provides for a two-day leave for care that can be taken as many times as the relative’s illness concurs in the year, so that right demanded by the EU would already be fulfilled in the Spanish legal system. Although, the directive emphasizes another issue in this same field that could include improvements, such as the right to be absent from work due to force majeure for urgent or unexpected reasons.

However, the transposition of this directive also affects the possibility that parents and caregivers “can adapt their calendar and work –in its different elements– to their personal needs and preferences,” they indicate from the Ministry. Thus, they add, it is not only “a right of absence, but also a right to flexible forms of work.”

What’s more, Labor wants to go further and also intends to create this type of permit for employee training, as the minister herself, Yolanda Díaz, recently advanced. In fact, these changes could be part of the broader law committed to in the coalition government agreement on the use of working time.

More transparent contracts and more predictable employment

On the other hand, Labor yesterday activated the transposition of another European directive that affects the content of employment contracts that employees sign with their companies. Spanish law must be adapted to “update the list of essential elements of the employment contract in relation to which workers must receive information in writing.”

This European regulation that will mark the Spanish in the coming months also includes the obligation for the worker to have an effective right to “employment predictability”. Moreover, the law must guarantee that no employer can prohibit a worker from accepting work from other employers outside the work schedule established by the first employer, “nor subject this person to unfavorable treatment for that reason,” they warn from Labor. .

In addition, the directive also requires that the right of workers to transition to other more stable forms of employment and to training for the job for which they have been hired be guaranteed. Thus, Spanish law must now be adapted to include all these issues that Brussels demands and that Labor has already taken the step of accepting with the transposition of these two directives.

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