There is a large temporary workforce in the Balearics. | Gemma Andreu


Workers affected by ERTE procedures are guaranteed unemployment benefit, and this includes employees with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts. But there are very many people who only work during the summer season with temporary contracts. Most of these workers are taken on from the start of May, by when all fijo discontinuo staff will have been called back to work.

In May 2019, some 60,000 temporary contracts were signed. Most of these were for either three or six months. This will not be the situation this year. Thousands of workers will not be placed under temporary contract; or not until later than usual at any rate. They are unlikely to therefore have any income, as their unemployment benefits will have been exhausted.

Ana Landero, secretary for union action and communication with the UGT union in the Balearics, says that the UGT is asking the Spanish government to ensure that there is no "social fracture" between permanent workers who are under ERTE conditions, temporary workers and those who have run out of benefits. "Everyone needs help, and those who are renting especially."

The UGT has long been critical of the seasonality of the regional labour market. In 2019, for example, almost eight out of ten employment contracts were for temporary working. The union recognises that the current situation is very difficult, especially in the Balearics. Tourism, for now, is non-existent.