Beyond Growth 2023 Conference.
Second Vice-President and Minister of Labour and Social Economy of Spain, representing the next Presidency of the EU
Ms Yolanda Díaz Pérez was born in Fene (Spain) in 1971. Second Vicepresident of Spain since July 2021 and Minister of Labour and Social Economy since January 2020.
She completed a Degree in Law and post-graduate studies in labour relations, urban planning law and human resources. She also received training in Social Protection, labour contracts, administration and gender.
After creating her own Law Firm in Ferrol, (A Coruña), she was elected successively as member of Ferrol City Council (2007), the Regional Parliament of Galicia (2012), and the Congress of Deputies (Spain’s’ National Parliament, 2016). In January 2020, Ms Díaz was appointed Minister of Labour and Social Economy; in March 2021 she took office as Third Vice-President; and in July 2021 as Second Vice-President of Spain.
Three fundamental features have characterized her time in government: tripartite social dialogue as the backbone of all her policies (facilitating up to fourteen social agreements between Government and social partners so far), placing social justice and labour rights at the centre of political action and giving an international dimension to its political and legislative agenda.
As Minister, she has promoted the transformation of the Spanish labour market encouraging quality and decent work, in order to overcome historical deficiencies and revitalize labour relations both in the field of legislative innovation and public policies. In this sense, she has fostered a major Labour Reform in 2022, based on a tripartite social agreement, capable of ending the duality of labour contracts and reversing the predominance of temporary contracts. She also supported an outstanding increase in minimum wage from 736 euros in 2018 up to 1.080 euros in 2023, a 47% increase in four years. 2
Furthermore, and for the first time, recent economic crises have not been resolved by job losses and cuts in labour and social rights. Rather and notably during the pandemic, Minister Díaz promoted a protective short-time working scheme that proved highly successful for employers and employees.
At international level (EU, ILO, OECD or G-20), she has made the rights of workers her main priority, without forgetting that the competitiveness of companies is not achieved by reducing labour costs, but through decent work, training and increasing technological, digital and green skills.
On the political level, Yolanda Díaz leads the Spanish left with an emphatic discourse based on dialogue and consensus. She has launched the “Sumar” initiative, a grassroots movement that seeks to renew ideas and imaginaries to build the country of the future with the civil society and which will be competing in the next general elections in December 2023.