This article summarises some of the main changes in Spanish employment law during 2017.
By: Gisella Alvarado
Firm: Sagardoy Abogados
Minimum interprofessional wage (SMI)
The Government increased the 2017 SMI by 8% compared to 2016, setting it at EUR 23.59 per day or 707.70 per month (Royal Decree 742/2016, of 30 December, 2016). As of 1 January 2018, the Government has increased the SMI by 4% compared to 2017, setting it at EUR 24.53 per day or EUR 735.90 per month (Royal Decree 1077/2017 of 29 December, 2017).
Extension of paternity leave
An entitlement to four weeks paternity leave was established in the Second Final Provision of Act 9/2009, which modified section 48 bis (currently 48.7) of the Workers' Statute (Act 9/2009, of 6 October 2009). This provision has been suspended since 2011, but became effective on 1 January 2017.
Social security contribution basis
The 2017 maximum social security contribution basis for all Social Security schemes was increased by 3% compared with that in force in 2016 (Royal Decree-Law 3/2016, of 2 December 2016).
Public sector pensions raised
The value of public sector pensions increased by 0.25% for 2017 (Act 3/2017 of 27 June, 2017). Certain pensions increased again by 0.25% for 2018 (Royal Decree 1079/2017, of 29 December, 2017).
Regulation of the professional vocational training system
New rules regarding the vocational professional training system established by Act 30/2015, of 9 September 2015, have been approved (Royal Decree 694/2017, of 3 July, 2017). Please note that this system regulates professional training initiatives and programmes, sets out the requirements and limits of training activities and their target recipients and establishes a system of skills accreditation by employers. Likewise, the system will be backed by a new integrated information system that will give access to complete, up-to-date, verifiable data on training throughout Spain, with the creation of a ‘training account’ for employees.
Urgent reforms were made to the Self-Employed Workers Act. These include:
- the extension of the social security contribution flat rate to 50 euros;
- the deduction of supplies and allowances;
- the introduction of flexibility measures in relation to social security contributions to the Special Scheme for Self-Employed Workers (RETA), especially for freelancers and retired self-employed workers;
- establishment of measures to promote the reconciliation of employment and family life (Act 6/2017 of 24 October, 2017).
Labour and Social Security Inspectorate
Royal Decree 138/2000, of 4 February, 2000 regulating the organisation and functioning of the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate and Royal Decree 928/1998, of 14 May, 1998, on procedures for the imposition of sanctions for labour infractions were modified (Royal Decree no. 1078/2017 of 29 December, 2017). The amendments concern, among other things, the powers and responsibilities of sub-inspectors, prior verification activities and the terms and conditions governing infringement and liquidation resolutions.
Guaranteed salary fund (FOGASA)
FOGASA provides a guaranteed salary for employees whose employers have been declared insolvent or bankrupt and who cannot continue to pay wages. As of 1 May 2017, workers applying for benefits under FOGASA must use a new application form, established in section 33 of the Workers' Statute (Resolution of the FOGASA General Secretariat of 7 April, 2017).
Social security system
Pension entitlements for public servants, including civil servants, military personnel, members of parliament and ministers, Social Security system pensions and other public social benefits were increased by 0.25% for 2018 (Royal Decree no. 1079/2017 of 29 December, 2017).