Companies in Spain to pay teleworking costs

After weeks of negotiations between employers and trade unions, the Spanish government has passed a decree that regulates working from home. Among other provisions it stipulates that companies must pay the costs incurred by employees when purchasing equipment and furnishings for the home office. The national newspapers are divided on whether the decree is an effective and well-considered measure.

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El País (ES) /

More flexibility in negotiations!

El País says the new law is of key importance, and not just in terms of its content:

“The agreement addresses with political efficiency a labour market problem that could easily have become a contentious issue. ... It is reassuring that the social actors, perhaps as a consequence of the virus crisis, have become more willing to negotiate and to back comprehensive agreements, leaving the more sensitive individual issues where they belong, i.e. in company agreements. Gradually and without too much fuss, a negotiating culture is emerging which could be very useful when it comes to tackling more difficult structural reforms, for example the pension reform.”

El Mundo (ES) /

This could put employers off

The law was cobbled together too quickly, El Mundo criticises:

“[Labour Minister Yolanda] Díaz's eagerness to find a consensus between the negotiating partners is commendable. But because of her haste to put this feather in her cap, and because there was no proper debate, it's to be feared that the legislation is already outdated. ... This false sense of urgency meant that right up until the last minute before the cabinet meeting that gave the green light for the law, employers were still negotiating open questions . ... This hasty approach does not give us cause to believe that the new law will be well-suited to its purpose. In view of the dismal labour market situation, there's also the danger that excessively rigid regulations will deter employers from hiring new staff - and that unemployment will therefore continue to rise.”