16 Jul
jobs labour Covid19 Spain

Spanish Labour Minister offers to “join forces” with her German counterpart to enhance fight against job insecurity

The Spanish Labour Minister, Yolanda Díaz, held a meeting by video-conference with the Minister for Work and Social Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hubertus Heil, which showed they were in great harmony. Hubertus Heil congratulated the Government of Spain on the raft of measures pushed through to fight poverty and social exclusion.

The Minister for Work expressed her support for the goals of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union that will last until 31 December 2020, with the core pillar of overcoming the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic in a coordinated, supportive and innovative fashion under the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.

European recovery after Covid-19
Yolanda Díaz expressed her agreement with the “far-reaching” measures of the German Presidency, outlined by Hubertus Heil, and reminded the German Minister for Work of the need for a swift approval of the Recovery Plan of the European Union to guarantee a way out of the crisis that revolves around protecting people and labour rights.

“At an historic time, the Recovery Plan is key for showing that the European Union reaches all people and that no-one is left behind”, underlined Yolanda Díaz.

She also stressed the need to make progress on the application of the European Pillar of Social Rights, guaranteeing the protection of the most vulnerable and contributing to a robust, fair and inclusive recovery.

Job insecurity due to Covid-19
The COVID-19 crisis has made the need to combat job insecurity even more pressing, a fight that Yolanda Díaz told Minister Heil she is committed to and wants to “join forces” to enhance the guarantee of a minimum income throughout the European Union.

The Spanish Government backs the European initiative to implement a minimum wage which will tangibly allow the European Pillar of Social Rights and the principle of a Social Europe to be materialised, and is in favour of enacting a European Directive on the matter.

Hubertus Heil congratulated the Government of Spain on its commitment to the Minimum Living Income, a tool that he considers to be “very important” in the fight against poverty and on the raft of social measures implemented to tackle the effects of the pandemic.

Labour rights
The Spanish Labour minister said she was in favour of enhancing the protection of the labour rights of digital platform workers, of sub-contracted workers in the value chains and of seasonal workers, in line with the goals proposed by her German counterpart.

Yolanda Díaz stressed that digitalisation brings risks with it but also opportunities to “govern the technological change” and advocated the labour rights of riders who “are not false independent contractors and who work under unbearable conditions in the 21st Century”, argued the minister.

The COVID-19 crisis also highlighted the insecurity and abuse suffered in the European Union by seasonal workers.

Youth employment
Young people have been affected by two crises: the 2008 financial crisis and now COVID-19, which have exacerbated their access to the job market.

The Government of Spain advocated extending the age limit for the protection of this group, improving resources and the capacities of public employment services.

Yolanda Díaz stressed the need to strengthen dialogue with social stakeholders in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.

By: Estela Martín

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