Collective Bargaining in Spain: the Reform of the Regulatory Framework

Federico Navarro Nieto


The reforms of 2011 and 2012 in Spain have produced a significant change in the collective bargaining structure. This is particularly the case of Real Decreto Ley No. 3/2012 which aims at increasing businesses’ internal flexibility through collective bargaining. The paper provides an in-depth analysis of the recent labour market reforms and their effects on the bargaining mechanisms. In this sense, the focus is on the enhanced role of company-level bargaining, on the regulation of conflict between different-level agreements, and on the scope to derogate from national-level collective agreements. The paper provides a detailed analysis of the new mandatory arbitration procedures in the case of negotiation deadlocks as well as of the possibility of revising agreements while still in force. Finally, the new rules on bargaining legitimacy and on the validity of agreements after their expiration are considered.

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