Europe Week: Spain and temporary agency workers
Last month unemployment in Spain hit a record high. Official figures show the amount of people out of work in the country hit 5.64 million – a rate of almost 25%.
The country has the highest unemployment rate in the EU and in the first three months of the year 365,900 people lost their jobs. However, a separate report noted that 90% of employment contracts signed are now temporary ones, equating to a strong demand for temporary agency workers.
Many of those that are working as temps are “clueless” about their contracts though. According to the country’s National Statistics Institute about 1.78million temporary workers are unsure off how long their contracts will actually last. Leaving a large amount of very vulnerable workers.
The survey found that the majority know their contract is due to exceed one month, but are unable to say when their contract will be terminated. Some had no idea their were contracted for less than a month and others knew nothing in relation to the length of their contract. This leaves workers open to exploitation and also gives a vastly negative assumption of the market.
Spanish labour reforms earlier this year caused tension in the jobs market, with many workers striking and threatening to go abroad to find work. Changes have been made regarding employment terminations, redundancies and collective dismissals, aimed at making the labour market more flexible. But, the President of Adecco in Spain doesn’t think it is enough for temporary agency workers…
He believes that the reforms are “good” but that the Government still needs to improve the management of temporary workers, who are “chained” to different companies. He also wants temps to be given more training – “We must understand that the way one worked 30 years ago is no longer useful.” This corroborates the figures that show demand for highly skilled workers in the country is significant.