The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saizannounced this Monday the opening of technical negotiation tables with unions and businessmen to address the “rearrangement” of partial retirement. Likewise, they have agreed to improve retirement of domestic workers. Asked about the union request to immediately extend the relief contract for the manufacturing industry, whose current regulation expires on December 31, Saiz indicated that she has listened “actively” to the demands of the social agents.
“And we are going to work on these issues that had been pending (…) Today there was a meeting at the highest level, but the technical work continues from tomorrow, better than the day after tomorrow,” said the minister after meeting with the general secretaries of CCOO and UGTUnai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, and the presidents of CEOE and Cepyme, Antonio Garamendi and Gerardo Cuerva, respectively.
The investiture agreement between PSOE and Sumar includes the implementation of a new regulation of partial retirement and relief contracts that guarantees quality in the employment of relievers and that takes into account the greater difficulty of carrying out certain activities from a certain age, especially manufacturing industry.
Improvements for domestic workers
In addition to this matter, in this first contact between the minister and the social agents, within the fight against the gender gap, it has been addressed, allowing domestic workers to integrate contribution gaps (periods with gaps in contributions or with contributions lower than the minimum bases) with a view to their possible retirement, the minister has indicated. Specifically, sources from the Ministry have explained that the non-coverage of gaps for these workers has been applied from 2012 to 2023 and as of January 1, 2024 they will be fully equal with the rest, so that the retirement or permanent disability pensions that generated in the Special System for Domestic Employees, they will now be able to apply gap coverage to their previous contribution career.
Contribution gaps directly impact the amount of the pension received, but there are mechanisms to cover these blank contribution spaces, which are not recognized in all Social Security regimes. In the case of the Special System for Domestic Employees, made up mostly of women, the integration for the calculation of the pension currently only occurs for contribution gaps that have occurred after January 1, 2018, excluding all previous ones. From January 1, 2024, domestic workers will be able to include them all.
Also in the field of Social Security, Saiz has highlighted the entry into force since January of the contribution of scholarship recipients, a measure that, he said, has the “unanimous support” of unions and employers. “We are talking about rights, not only with recognition of these practices as part of the prelude to the labor market and that advance rights for students, but also that this possibility exists five years ago, of being able to subscribe an agreement to recognize the rights of people who can prove that they have carried out these practices,” he indicated.
Minister Saiz has announced also technical tables, not only for the field of Social Security, but also for Inclusion and for Migrations. In the first case, he explained that the evolution of the Minimum Living Income (IMV) will be addressed with social agents “with the important role that the employment incentive is playing.” In terms of Migration, Saiz has exposed the “firm” commitment of his Ministry against labor exploitation. “The social partners have a lot to say,” he noted.
CCOO and UGT, concerned about relief contracts
For their part, both CCOO and UGT have shown their concern for the non-extension of the relief contract for the manufacturing sector and they have asked that this not remain just a model for manufacturing activities. “For CCOO, it is necessary to extend partial retirement and the use of the relief contract for manufacturing activities, but it cannot be limited to just one model for manufacturing activities,” said the general secretary of CCOO, Unai Sordo.
Therefore, he has asked to give a negotiation period so that the use of the replacement contract can be extended to other activities, since this contract is “a good formula to promote the renewal of staff.” “On December 31 this will have to be extendedobviously, but we want a deadline to address the formulation of the replacement contract as soon as possible, of access to partial retirement, in a way that can also be extended to other sectors,” he added. For his part, the Deputy Secretary General for Politics UGT union member, Fernando Luján, has pointed out that the non-extension of the relief and partial retirement contract is generating “uncertainty and insecurity” among workers and companies, which is why he has asked for it to be continued.
The unions have celebrated that Minister Saiz accepts the commitment that was made regarding the contributions of scholarship recipients with retroactive effects of five years, and they have emphasized the “good disposition” that the head of Social Security has had to open tables where it can be deepen agreements to improve people’s lives. “We celebrate the good disposition of the new minister to open tables where social dialogue can be deepened, but fundamentally to improve people’s lives and, ultimately, to improve the life of our country,” said the deputy general secretary of Union Policy of UGT.
For his part, the general secretary of CCOO, Unai Sordo, has celebrated that on January 1 the recognition of the contributions of scholarship recipients, people who have undergone on-the-job training and who can resort to the recognition of contributions for a period of up to five years. “We are going to analyze exactly the text that is being proposed in a public hearing, but after the pressures that have been there (…), we are satisfied that finally, at last, this measure that we have agreed upon in the social dialogue is going to see the light,” added Sordo.
On the other hand, CCOO has asked the Minister of Social Security not to learn about the texts from the press, but rather to make them aware of them so that the unions can measure exactly what goes to the Official State Gazette (BOE).