Between January and August a total of 379,300 employment contracts were registered, of which only 62,666 were permanent. While it is the case that permanent employment has increased, this is greatly outweighed by temporary working: 83.5% of contracts issued over the first eight months of the year were temporary.
As Ana Landero of the UGT union stresses: "The difference is enormous."
Although there were more permanent contracts in real terms, as a percentage there was a decrease from 17.3% between January and August 2018.
Nevertheless, Landero recognises that inspections by the employment ministry in recent summers have had a positive impact in that a considerable number of temporary contracts have been made permanent, mostly on a "fijo discontinuo" basis.
In June this year, 91,166 employees with fijo discontinuo contracts were actively employed. This was a higher figure than the previous record in August 2018.
"It's good news, but at the UGT we continue to argue that there is margin for improvement." The inspections need to keep on top of the situation in order to ensure that employment agreements are kept to.
If an employee spends two summers working with a temporary contract and stays with the same employer, the contract has to be upgraded to fijo discontinuo for the third year.
Landero believes that a changing model of tourism with less reliance on sun and beach will mean less seasonality and so therefore more stable employment for more months of the year.
The workforce, she adds, needs to involve itself in this change and seek training for emerging types of work for which there is a shortage of skilled labour.
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