The Second Vice President and Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, has assured that Spain is advancing “towards a reduction in the maximum working hours”, after a century with 40-hour weekly workdays.

Díaz spoke this Wednesday at the event ‘Generation of Opportunities in Women: Diversity Strategies to Close the Gender Gap’, organized by Europa Press and McKinsey

“The challenge of work is the challenge of this century, it is already well advanced. We are advancing towards a reduction in the maximum working day, which in Spain has been a 40-hour working day for 100 years. The vigor of collective bargaining in companies is doing it There are already many collective agreements with days that have nothing to do with 40 hours”, the Minister of Labor has stated.

Díaz has assured that these shorter hours have already been “well studied” and it is known that they work both for the conciliation of employees and for the productivity of companies.

However, the head of Labor has stressed that the new days must respect “the regulations of working time” and that “they are not configured in a context of permanent and invisible availability.”

“Companies must also guarantee this right to their own time, establishing organizational systems in which people are not allowed to give up their personal and family time. Because personal time, to have projects, to train, to take care of and to grow, also has repercussions for the benefit of the company itself”, stressed the minister.

Díaz has also alluded to the flexibility in working time for people with care responsibilities, something that is required by Directive 2019/1158, on the reconciliation of responsibilities and that “will be established by Spanish law that will soon be the norm for the transposition of this directive “.

The second vice-president and Minister of Labor has vindicated in this act “the culture of the time”, as part of the “public and private conversation” and as one more element that must be taken into account in business relations.

“Time is a determining element in healthy business and labor relations, it is a key factor in the configuration of egalitarian contexts”, pointed out the Minister of Labor in her speech.

He has also pointed out that even the courts of justice have ruled on the matter and that there is a “large number of rulings” that recall that one must “work to live and not live to work” and that working time is that which requires the attention and availability of the employee.

Díaz added that, in addition to the sentences, there are studies that show that workers produce more if they are better off in their lives, for which reason he has urged companies to guarantee jobs that “do not force them to give up their own time” and that do not waste the talent “of those who know that you work better when you have time for everything”.

The debate on the rationalization of work times also requires, in Díaz’s opinion, a “new look”, which departs from the conception of the rhythms of the last century and bets on “flexible and bilateral” times, in which both Both the employee and the employer can define the days. “Relationships that are flexible, bilateral and with a willingness between the parties work better,” he warned.

Díaz has also warned that long hours and permanent connections “have a lot to do with extremely competitive and sometimes even toxic work environments”, which should be considered “risk factors”.

In addition, he has clarified that working in “such adverse conditions is not always synonymous with personal worth, but authentic survival capacity”, which ends up having an impact on people’s physical and mental health.

Díaz announced at this event that the conclusions of the commission of experts on mental health will be known in the coming days, and he has not hidden his concern for mental pathologies in the world of work and business.