THE coalition government has repealed a law that allowed businesses to dismiss workers if they had accumulated too much medical leave.

The original conservative law was put in place in 2012 by the PP, when Mariano Rajoy was President.

PSOE had made this reform a key part of their manifesto.

Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz said: “We finally repealed the article that allowed our workers to be fired in our country despite having a medical leave that justified their absence.”

According to the Ministry of Labour, the European Court of Justice had previously warned Spain that firing employees on the basis of illness was discriminatory.

“We are repairing an anomaly with respect to countries around us, in which this unfair dismissal does not exist, and that provides legal certainty.”

This law was originally introduced by the PP in order to allow greater flexibility in the labor market, facilitating lower wages and lowering the dismissal of workers.

Its supporters argue it helped make Spain a more competitive market, but its opponents believe it eroded workers’ rights, while promoting job insecurity and lower wages.

It could be argued that the law has helped to reduce unemployment, as it fell from 27% in 2013, to 13.8% in the final quarter of 2019.

The current government believes that the rate of unemployment will stabilise at 13.6% in 2020 and fall gradually to 12.3% in 2023.

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