Post-crisis social rights and social security law in Spain

  • Jose Manuel del Valle Villar University of Alcalá
Keywords: social rights, Social Security System, unemployment benefits, age of retirement, “cuts”


The last crisis had a strong impact in Spanish economy. As a consequence, and underrecommendation of the EU, the successive Governments since 2008 till the end of 2014 have passed“emergency legislation” that affected social rights and Social Security System, introducing amendmentsand “cuts” on them. Contrary to what occurred in other countries (that have made Finance Acts, thebudget, or even Parliamentary Acts the fundamental ways to conduct such reforms) in Spain, the RoyalDecree-Law (RDL), a “legislative” type text (serving as an Act of Parliament) has prevailed. The reforms,amendments and “cuts” (in some cases) caused by the crisis have highlighted the weakness of the theoryof supra-legal character of the Spanish Constitution (whose writing would be compulsory for the publicauthorities, and even for the Parliament). The main amendments and “cuts” have focused on fight againstfraud in Social Security, unemployment benefits (contributive and non contributive levels), the revaluationor increase of pensions (“Sustainability factor in the pension System” formula has been passed byAct), retirement agreements with workers affected by redundancy plans (economic dismissal), age ofretirement (that will get 67 progressively in the next years), early retirement and partial retirement, thetax burden which affects the contribution base in the general scheme (Régimen General); the techniqueused for rising this consist of including in the quoted base concepts (monetary, benefits in kind) that weretraditionally excluded from taxation. It is true that during these years 2008 to 2014 protective measuresfor the unemployed and to promote self-employment have been passed by the Spanish Governments andParliament, but they cannot dodge the fact that the social rights have been seriously affected.


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How to Cite
Valle Villar, J. M. del. (2015). Post-crisis social rights and social security law in Spain. Spanish Labour Law and Employment Relations Journal, 4(1-2), 55-63. Retrieved from