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Council of Ministers

Government approves measures to improve protection of workers and avoid irregularities in their contracts

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 3 August 2018
Pool Moncloa/Fernando Calvo

The government also formalised the additional distribution of 71.3 million euros among the regional governments for active employment policies. Furthermore, it approved urgent measures to develop the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence.

​The Council of Ministers modified the regulation of the Employment Activation Programme (Spanish acronym: PAE) with the aim of avoiding that some 41,000 people are unprotected and not receiving economic assistance.

The measure affects a group in great need of protection, since this affects people whose recourse to financial assistance has dried up and yet have responsibilities to family members in their charge.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, highlighted, at the press briefing following the Council of Ministers, that this initiative will provide cover for unemployed workers, particularly women. "65% of this measure relates to unemployed women who are particularly vulnerable and who no longer sign up to the extraordinary Employment Activation Programme".

Furthermore, the government agreed to modify the social security rules in order to guarantee contributions from fake independent contractors under the General Social Security Regime.

Pedro Sánchez claimed that these measures mean "more rights and greater cover for the dignified work of thousands of people who, logically, are being deprived of this because of the fraudulent use being made of this concept".

Assistance for regional governments

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoIn relation to employment, the Council of Ministers also formalised the criteria for the additional distribution and the distribution resulting from the credits scheduled for the financial year 2019 among regional governments for a sum of 71,284,430 euros.

This amount is in addition to the 2,055,139 million euros charged to the State Public Employment Service Budget and the Ministry of Work, Migration and Social Security, which had their criteria for distribution formalised on 4 May.

The government also approved the distribution of 352 million euros under different social programmes, of which 302.7 million will be allocated to the regional governments.

Fight against gender-based violence

The Council of Ministers approved a Royal Decree-Law on urgent measures to develop the State Pact to Combat Gender-based Violence. This amendment returns powers on this matter to local authorities.

The rule strengthens judicial protection, access to justice and to resources to help victims. It also includes an amendment to the Civil Code so that those minors exposed to gender-based violence do not require the permission of the abuser to receive psychological attention.

The President of the Government underlined that in two months, the government has not only explicitly showed, through financial resources, its commitment to "upholding the State Pact to Combat Gender-based violence and ensuring that it is upheld", but that it is also going to make legislative changes that were reflected and included in this Pact.

Commitment to science

Pedro Sánchez reiterated his commitment to science and the cultural sector. In this regard, the government modified the limit on the expenditure commitment in future financial years to the State Research Agency for the 2018 calls for proposals under the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation.

A total of 393.7 million euros was also authorised for the two main calls for proposals for research projects.

The "R&D Generation of Knowledge project" has a provision of 125.5 million euros and the "R&D+i Research Challenges" project has a provision of more than 268 million euros. The rounds of proposals will be published in the Official State Gazette in the coming weeks and the deadline for presenting applications will open in September.

Single commander to tackle immigration

Pool Moncloa / Fernando CalvoThe President of the Government announced the creation of a single operational commander, who will be a Guardia Civil general, to coordinate the actions of the different ministerial departments to tackle illegal immigration in the area of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Alboran Sea and adjacent waters.

The President of the Government explained that "this single commander will centralise coordination and the monitoring of all the actions carried out or tied to illegal immigration" and will coordinate the available human and material resources.

He also said that this will facilitate the "swift and opportune transfer of information on immigration" and help optimise the resources allocated to controlling borders with the aim of "preventing the embarkation of vessels containing immigrants in the countries of origin and avoiding the unexpected arrival of vessels in Spain".

Taxi sector

The Council of Ministers analysed a report on the current legal framework of taxi and private hire services and a series of proposals was made to improve the co-existence of the two sectors.

The documents proposes the creation of a Working Group for Proposals and Good Practices Relating to Taxi and Private Hire Sectors, in order to analyse and identify those aspects that may be subject to changes so as to improve competitiveness, competition and the provision of service by both sectors, as well as to share good practices and successful experiences in a search for solutions that correct the current imbalance.

The President of the Government declared that the government seeks to provide a response to ensure the "co-existence and balance" of the two transport sectors.