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Factsheet for measure ES-2021-40/2039 – measures in Spain

Common activation programs for employment of the National Employment System

Real Decreto 818/2021, de 28 de septiembre, por el que se regulan los programas comunes de activación para el empleo del Sistema Nacional de Empleo

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 28 September 2021
Context COVID-19, European Semester
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Carlos Molina (UAB)
Measure added 11 October 2021 (updated 18 November 2021)

Background information

The law approved responds to the need to simplify the management and a very dispersed regulation of active labour market policies. Moreover, it also updates the existing programs so that they adapt to the changing needs of the labor market and adapt to the particularities of each territory. In this way, it will make it possible to increase the effectiveness of Active Employment Policies and promote their adaptation to each profile of the applicant.

The law includes the contributions and observations of the National Employment System and the regional governments, in line with the Active Support Strategy for Employment 2021 - 2024, unanimously supported in the Sectorial Conference of April 2021.

This law is a fundamental instrument to develop the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and addresses, in line with Goal 8 of the 2030 Agenda, the challenges of reducing unemployment, especially that affecting the most vulnerable groups, and the stable and quality job creation.

Content of measure

The law regulates 17 programs, of which seven are new programs and have been designed with the contributions of the different public employment services that, due to their proximity, have very advanced management experience and knowledge of reality and the needs of each territory. the new programs include:

Program to avoid discrimination based on age: This program includes actions that facilitate the reactivation and labor insertion of people seeking employment and services who are over 45 years of age, preferably long-term unemployed. In this way, they have priority participation in various active employment policy programs and they will have preferential access to public subsidies that encourage their hiring and undertaking an activity on their own.

Public employment-training programs: These are mixed public employment-training initiatives that will make it possible to reconcile formal learning and professional practice in the workplace. Its duration will be up to 12 months, which may be longer if particularly vulnerable people are cared for or include a counseling service.

Program of labor inclusion of people at risk or situation of social exclusion: with personalized itineraries of labour market integration in collaboration with placement companies and their promoting entities, non-profit organizations and companies that hire them.

Program to support geographic mobility: Through this program travel expenses will be subsidized and recruitment will be encouraged for the return of talent. It will also allow the transfer of victims of gender violence and, in general, those who decide to work or undertake in depopulated rural areas or at risk of depopulation.

Program for equality between men and women: to promote measures that promote equality and access and maintenance of employment, working conditions and conciliation and co-responsibility in personal, family and work life. It will make it possible to implement equality plans in companies, incorporate the participation of women in guidance programs or improve employability, help conciliation and encourage permanent hiring, among other issues.

Social and labor insertion program for women victims of gender violence: The subsidies provided for in other common programs in which they can participate may be increased by up to 10%. They will also receive guidance and specialized information on labor matters, and specific training will be provided to the personnel who perform these functions.

Programs of Orientation, Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Employment: Its objective will be the development by the public employment services of functions in the areas of orientation, job prospecting and intermediation and entrepreneurship.

Use of measure

No data available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Public employment service
National funds
National Recovery and Resilience Facility

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners have only indirectly participated in this measure. Since they participate in the management of the public employment service, they're consulted, but do not intervene directly in the design of the policies.

Views and reactions

Trade unions have reacted positively to the law. In particular, they've welcomed the emphasis on achieving gender equality and avoiding discrimination.

On the other hand, employer organisations have made a positive, but cautious assessment of the law.


  • 28 September 2021: Royal Decree 818/2021 which regulates the common activation programs for employment of the National Employment System (


Eurofound (2021), Common activation programs for employment of the National Employment System, measure ES-2021-40/2039 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.