WORKER WORRIES: Spain has highest level of temporary work contracts in EU

SPAIN has the highest proportion of people employed for six months or less compared with 18 European countries, according to the UN’s work agency which said such contracts harm workers.

Figures International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the EU’s Eurostat statistics office showed around 60 per cent of Spanish temporary contracts in 2017 employed workers for six months or less. Germany had the lowest proportional amount at about 10 per cent.

The ILO said the rising use of temporary contracts was making workers feel more financially insecure and impacting negatively on their careers.

“Evidence suggests that poverty rates grow as the duration of contracts gets shorter,” the ILO said in its report on the data.

The report found the total number of workers employed on temporary contracts grew to 26.8 per cent of the entire labour force in 2017, the highest proportion since 2008.

More than 85 per cent of Spanish workers employed on temporary contracts were in that situation because they were unable to find full time jobs, the report added. Around 85 per cent of temporary staff in Germany worked on those terms by choice.

A total of 34 per cent of women working on part-time contracts did so to spend more time with their families compared to 16 per cent of men.

The ILO found wages in the 52 countries studied always grew below 2 per cent from 2000, slowing further to 1.2 per cent in 2016 and 0.8 per cent in 2018. Real wages fell in both Spain and Italy in recent years, the report stated.

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Joe Gerrard

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