Judicial blow to the job insecurity of subcontractors

Judicial coup by the Supreme Court to end the temporary hiring of subcontracted companies or, in other words, to combat job insecurity of employees working for such companies. A high court ruling made public yesterday rejects that a company that provides services to another as a subcontractor has employees on temporary contracts. With this ruling, then, the Supreme Court modifies the jurisprudence that has been maintained since the late 90’s, in which it was accepted that the contracts for work and service were adjusted to the duration of the contract signed between the subcontractor and the company main.

According to the ruling, “those who offer services to third parties carry out their essential activity through them and, therefore, it is illogical to maintain that the bulk of the activity has the exceptional character to which the contract for works and services it must be taken care of ”.

The ruling also makes it clear that the automation of this type of procurement can lead to “endangering the guarantees sought by European Union law.”

The court decision, of which Magistrate María Lourdes Arastey has been the speaker, was adopted unanimously by the plenary session of the TS Social Chamber on 15 December. This ruling could cause a 180-degree turn in temporary hiring in Spain, which is the second highest in the entire European Union. According to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) referring to the Labor Force Survey, in 2019 it closed with a temporary contract of 26.1%, almost double the average of the European union.

These types of contracts especially affect employees under the age of 30, and more women than men. In fact, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has turned a deaf ear to Spain several times over this issue.

Common practice in call centers

The ruling is the result of a lawsuit against a company that linked the contracts for the work of its staff for many years. In fact, it is a very common practice in sectors such as call centers or cleaning companies.


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