He was Minister for Labour and Social Affairs during 2008-2011 under the premiership of José Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero. During his period as Minister, Caldera signed over twenty social and labor agreements.
Key labor reforms: Caldera raised the minimum wage to 600 euros/month, built consensus with social agents for labor reform as well as social security that allowed for the creation of more jobs with permanent contracts and improved payments to the neediest groups, at the same time he guaranteed the future of the system by making early retirement more difficult. Additionally, he brought forward the independent contractors statute and put a plan in place to reduce workplace accidents.
Key social reforms: Caldera created a new right, the right of dependent people to get assistance, raised paternity leave days from four to fifteen. Further, his ministry was charged with migratory policies and (along with social agents) to regularize more than half a million immigrants.