Discontinued fixed-term contracts

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contratos fijos discontinuos

There are many forms of contracting and this can sometimes be confusing. To clear up any doubts, today we will discuss permanent contracts and their characteristics. Read on to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of contractual relationship.

The different types of contracting

Among the different types of employment contracts, there are fixed-term and fixed-term contracts, internship contracts, training contracts, and many others. However, it is very common that at the time of establishing a new employment relationship a contract is signed, but the employee does not know the details of the contract or what type of contract it is. As a result of this inexperience, it may happen that the employee signs a contract that is not the most appropriate for the type of employment relationship that is being established and that may cause problems in the long term.

Each type of contracting will have its particular characteristics, so knowing them puts all parties in a position to act and make decisions, especially when, for some reason, complications arise that affect the employment relationship. This is equally relevant for the employee as it is for the employer.

In this article we will explore in depth the discontinuous fixed-term employment contract, we will give an account of its main characteristics and we will make clear how it should be formalized. All this in order to evaluate its advantages and understand its application instances.

What is a fixed-term contract?

Let us begin by understanding what a fixed-term employment contract is all about. Being of indefinite nature, the worker who is linked to this type of contract provides services on a continuous basis, with two possibilities:

  1. That the work does not have established dates in the usual activity of the company.
  2. The work is performed periodically.

In the first case, the worker is called by the company to work on an occasional basis when needed and, in the second case, the worker provides his services every year during the same period. If a permanent employee is no longer called to perform his or her tasks, he or she is entitled to claim for dismissal before the labor courts. In this situation, it is always recommended to do so with the assistance of a professional, more specifically, advised by a labor lawyer.

The reform

Royal Decree-Law 32/2021, which includes the labor reform and is dated December 28, brings major changes in labor contracts. We are going to go deeper into those that apply to the fixed-term contract, which is modified by this reform once it enters into force.

The modifications that took place in the area of discontinuous fixed-term contracts are among the most outstanding measures of this labor reform, which seeks to discourage temporary hiring. This type of contract already existed in the regulations, only that it has been modified. The changes that come into force are effective three months after the publication of the Royal Decree that includes the labor reform, that is to say, as from March 30 of this year.

What does the reform change?

In Article 16 of the Workers’ Statute it indicates after the reform that discontinuous permanent contracts can be made in case of:

  • Seasonal jobs that are linked to seasonal activities.
  • Jobs of an intermittent nature with determined or undetermined periods of execution.
  • Work for the provision of services for the execution of foreseeable commercial or administrative contracts and which form part of the ordinary activities of the company. In these cases, given the collective bargaining agreements of each sector, a maximum period of inactivity can be determined, which otherwise will be three months.
  • Jobs involving the coverage of contracts linked to a particular need of temporary employment agencies.

A fixed-term contract must be made in writing and following the official model provided by the State Public Employment Service (Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal). It must state the category and professional group, the type of work to be performed and whether it is a part-time or full-time job, the probationary period and the term of the contract. The contract must also make it clear what the agreed salary is and the items into which it is distributed. Further information should also be included, such as the duration of vacations and the collective bargaining agreement applicable to the employment relationship.

Incentives

In the case of private companies related to the tourism and hotel sector, which have activity in specific months such as March and November, and which need to hire workers with the fixed-discontinuous modality during those periods each year, they will have incentives. These incentives are a 50% bonus on the business contribution for common contingencies, training, wage guarantee fund and unemployment.

The antiquity

The seniority of permanent discontinuous workers, with few exceptions, is taken into account considering the entire duration of the employment relationship and not simply the time of services performed.

This is especially important when there is a severance payment, since it requires taking into account all the seniority. Therefore, if as a worker you find yourself in this type of situation, it is best to seek legal advice in order to obtain accurate answers.

Benefits for discontinuous permanent workers

The company has the duty to inform discontinuous permanent workers and their legal representatives if there are vacant positions that are permanent. This will allow workers to be incorporated as permanent if they comply with the procedures of the collective bargaining agreement or the company.

Similarly, people hired as discontinuous permanent workers are considered as the priority group if there are training initiatives in the vocational training system during their periods of activity. This is another of the benefits they have within the company.

If you still have any doubts, contact us so we can advise you. At Blegal we are the law firm that meets all your needs. The best advisors and lawyers are at your disposal online and in person.

For information on related topics visit our Gestoría y Asesoría page.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash.

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