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PUBLIC CALENDAR REFORM

Changes to the holiday calendar will have to wait until 2014

Most holidays in 2013 won't need to be changed because they fall on Friday or Monday

CEOE businessmen's group says that productivity drops the day after a long weekend

The Popular Party (PP) administration will postpone until 2014 the introduction of reforms to limit the number of holidays and long weekends, known in Spain as “bridges,” as part of its efforts to increase worker productivity.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría explained after Friday’s Cabinet meeting that the government won’t have to rush to designate what holidays workers will be entitled to next year because most of those days will fall on Fridays, Mondays or during the weekend.

In January, labor unions and the nation’s largest business confederation, the CEOE, agreed to push national holidays to Mondays so that workers can still enjoy a three-day weekend while curbing the practice of taking additional working days off should they fall between holidays and the weekend.

Studies by the CEOE have shown that workers are less productive on Mondays following these “weekend bridges.”

But not everyone has agreed to this formula. The regions and the Catholic Church, which has a say in such matters, as outlined in the 1979 accord between Spain and the Vatican, are still negotiating with the government. The three sides are trying to decide what to do with three specific dates: August 15 Feast of the Assumption, November 1 All Saints Day, and December 6 Constitution Day.

The CCOO and UGT labor unions are asking to keep the May 1 Workers Day holiday intact.