They are causing a lot of fuss. The unions are threatening a general strike over the reforms but the government has vowed to press ahead anyway (Zapatero to approve reforms with or without agreement) . They have been negotiating changes to a system which clearly does not work for almost two years now. Even with 44% of young people out of work and numerous others working in the black economy, the unions are unhappy because redundancy pay rights are being reduced.
But even if the reforms get pushed through will they make much difference? Looking at the fine print and they are not exactly earth-shattering - redundancy pay down from 45 days pay for every year worked to 33 days. Even that small reduction is only for new contracts not existing workers.
It will still be very expensive to hire and fire workers which is why so many employers needing staff get them unofficially - "sin contrato" - although they need to be wary as one of the new measures is to increase the number of labour inspections specifically to pick up such illegal practices.
The other measures in the package are mainly shuffling subsidies around and actually increasing the burden on employers e.g. by making it harder to offer temporary contracts and extending the requirement to pay redundancy packages. Full details here - Employing Staff in Spain
If Spain was serious about tackling the horrendous employment situation they need a dramatic cut in social security payments by employers and the self-employed, right across the board. Perhaps they could pay for it with an end to the 3 billion € a year they spend on subsidies for encouraging employment which clearly do not work.