Fedea has argued that Spain has with a work day aligned with your level of productivitycriticizing the idea of equating itself with other countries in the European Union whose productivity exceeds that of Spain and reduce the working day to 37.5 hours per week. According to Florentino Felgueroso, a Fedea researcher, Spain is located in the middle in the European Union, which makes it impossible to aspire to a working day similar to that of Scandinavian countries or a Minimum Interprofessional Wage (SMI) like that of Luxembourg due to the difference. in economic productivity.
In the ‘Quarterly Labor Market Observatory for the third quarter of 2023’, Felgueroso stated that reducing the working day without first increasing productivity would be unviable. It raises a reflection on whether the shorter working hours in some northern countries derive from lower productivity. or if lower productivity is a consequence of reduced working hourssuggesting that the reduction in working hours may have been possible due to the gradual increase in productivity in those countries.
“It is true that the northern countries have less working hours and also less productivity, but do they have less working hours because they have less productivity or do they have less productivity because they have less working hours? It seems to me that what they are telling us is that if we lower the working hours, it will to increase productivity, when probably in these countries they have achieved a reduction in working hours because have been increasing their productivity“he argued.
Furthermore, it points out that the proposed reduction to 37.5 hours may not significantly impact certain sectors such as hospitality or servicessince many jobs in these areas They already have shorter hours due to part-time or intermittent employment.
“Really, those who work more than 37 hours, those who work the most are the managers and, no matter how much they are going to reduce their working hours to less than 37, They will continue working all the hours they work now“, he indicated.
Felgueroso foresees difficulties in the equitable distribution of this measure, since it could mainly benefit technicians and professionals, while other sectors such as laborers or cleaning staff, to whom the reform is supposedly aimed, could not be so favored.
Fedea emphasizes the need to focus on reducing the high unemployment rates in Spain and moving towards less precarious jobs. They regret the absence of measures in the labor agenda that promote economic growth and job creation.