New Strategic Plan for Labour and Social Security Inspection

Written on 18 May 2018

The Council of Ministers, by agreement of 6 April 2018, approved the Strategic Plan for Labour and Social Security Inspection setting out the objectives and guidelines of the Labour Inspectorate for the coming years 2018-2020

The Strategic Plan, which is part of the Governments "Agenda for quality employment", the Government aims to establish the priorities of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security for the current legislature. Specifically, the Plan identifies the main inspection campaigns to which companies will be subject to in the area of labour relations and social security.

The inspection activity will focus on twelve main objectives related to the following subjects: equality and non-discrimination: working time; control of subcontracts and multiservice companies; occupational risks and digital platforms.

Firstly, through control of hiring, emphasis is placed on the verification of:

  1. Unjustified temporary contracts, paying particular attention to fixed-term contracts concluded in fraud under the law , the linking of temporary contracts and the misuse of temporary work agencies.
  2. Internship and training contracts, with specific campaigns aimed at reviewing the contracts and detecting whether these figures cover up real labour relations.
  3. Part-time contracts, verifying compliance with the requirements established under the law: in formal writing and the effective implementation of the agreed working day.

Secondly, monitoring of compliance with equality and non-discrimination legislation will be increased. To this end, the inspection activity will mainly consist of:

  1. Verify compliance with the business obligation to develop a protocol to prevent sexual and gender-based harassment.
  2. Establish systems to detect gender-based wage discrimination.
  3. To detect, prior to publication, the existence of possible discriminatory clauses in collective agreements.

In order to ensure the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, the Inspectorate will focus on monitoring compliance with the obligation to reserve jobs in companies with more than 50 employees.

With regard to working time, the Strategic Plan proposes to increase inspection action in relation to ordinary working hours, overtime and supplementary hours. It is also proposed to strengthen the supervision of subcontractors and multiservice companies to facilitate the detection of networks created to circumvent the application of social legislation. It is also planned to create new inspection units specialising in the prevention of occupational risks and in the supervision of the digital platforms.

Finally, the Strategic Plan agrees to the transformation of the current General Directorate of Labour Inspection and Social Security into a newly created autonomous body: the State Agency for Labour and Social Security Inspection. Until now, the Inspectorate has depended on the Departments of Employment of the Autonomous Communities or the Ministry of Employment, which meant that the instructions of the Ministry of Employment materialised in different, and even contradictory acts between Autonomous Communities. With the creation of this autonomous body, the government intends to unify the criteria that will govern the inspection activities.

The possible consequences of the inspection activity are a relevant element to take into account when assessing the economic impact of an inspection: last year alone, 92,925 temporary employment contracts, which were considered to have been carried out as fraud under the law , were converted into indefinite contracts and infringement proceedings amounting to 279 million euros were issued. It is therefore advisable to anticipate the Inspectorate and to verify compliance with applicable labour and social security legislation.