More tourists in the low season mean more work.

27-03-2018Julián Aguirre

Between 2008 and last year, the number of employees in the Balearics on "fijo discontinuo" contracts who were actually working in the final quarter of these two years increased by 81%. In the last quarter of 2008, 67,186 employees were registered with social security as being in employment, while last year the number was 122,203.

Over the years there has been a steady rise. By 2014, there were 22,892 more active fijo discontinuo employees. Since 2014 the increase has been more marked - 32,125 more. This situation appears to be a clear sign of a lessening of the impact of seasonality.

Fijo discontinuo isn't a system of employment contract that is exclusive to the tourism industry. In the great majority of cases, it is a system used by the likes of hotels, but other sectors that are affected by seasonality have also adopted it. These include transport and distribution - logistical supply for hotels and now also, for instance, Palma's Palacio de Congresos, which has created its own positive effect on seasonality.

The regional government is satisfied by this changing situation, especially as it is coinciding with a reduction in the number of temporary contracts; fijo discontinuo is a form of permanent employment by which staff are laid off temporarily but can be called back to work at any time.

The unions are less convinced. They welcome the increase but believe that temporary employment is still way too high and that more fijo discontinuo contracts should have been issued in recent years.