between 245 and 565 euros per month

The Ministry of Social Security has presented a new offer of quotas for the self-employed to Social Security for the reform according to their "real income", with the aim of making it the last and trying to close an agreement in the coming days or weeks. The last approach slightly lowers the minimum quota, slightly increases the highest quota for workers with higher earnings and proposes lower amounts for the so-called intermediate sections. In short, the fees would range from a minimum of 245 euros per month to a higher one of 565 euros per month, depending on the net income of the workers. ATA, the self-employed organization of the CEOE, has already said that it considers it "unaffordable", while the progressive entities UATAE and UPTA are closer to the Government.

Specifically, the Ministry has proposed a minimum amount of 245 euros per month, five euros less than the last raised, on May 30. Against, for the highest income bracket, it proposes a monthly fee of 565 euros per month, 15 euros more than in the last document.

On the other hand, the biggest changes proposed by the Ministry of José Luis Escrivá refer to the contributions of the intermediate income brackets (“real income”), those self-employed with earnings between 1,700 euros and 2,300 euros per month. Social Security offers a new income "step" and reduces the contribution in two of them, compared to the last offer.

In this sense, the following tranches of income and quotas are proposed, according to negotiation sources:

For income between 1,700 and 1,850 euros per month: a fee of 370 euros per month, 30 euros less than in the last proposal. For income between 1,850 and 2,030 euros per month: a fee of 400 euros per month, 40 euros less. For income between 2,030 and 2,330 euros per month: a fee of 440 euros per month, same fee.

Unemployment due to cessation with partial activity

Another of the most significant novelties is the concretion of the improvements in the so-called 'employment of the self-employed', its benefit for cessation of activity. Specifically, it highlights that it will be regulated that it can be charged with partial business activity. This possibility, which was tested in the pandemic with the extraordinary aid for cessation due to COVID, does not exist in the ordinary modality of the benefit, which to date requires the total cessation of the activity.

The Ministry announced last week that the reform of the self-employed quotas also would go hand in hand with an extension of unemployment and social protection. This Monday, Social Security has come with a legislative text proposal, which will continue to be discussed in the coming days, with the intention of reaching an agreement shortly.

For the collection of the benefit for cessation with partial activity, the Ministry proposes that there must be a reduction in activity of 75% and also in the working day of all workers in the business.

Final stretch of the negotiation still with differences

Social Security faces the final stretch of the negotiation, with the intention of approving the measure shortly. The Government promised Brussels that the reform would be legislated in the first half of the year, which is about to end.

From the Ministry they point out that the Social Security technicians have explained this Monday “the details of the draft legal text sent in recent days to the social partners and have resolved the doubts raised by the members of the table. A new section proposal has also been addressed. Another next meeting will be convened in the next few days.

In ATA (organization of freelancers within the CEOE employers' association) they have already expressed that they reject the latest proposal for quotas, which they consider "unaffordable". “Undoubtedly, we still do not accept”, expressed its president, Lorenzo Amor after the meeting. "It is unaffordable for a self-employed person who earns 1,700 euros a month to have to pay 900 euros more in contributions per year," he considers.

The amounts proposed by the Government only represent the first steps in the transition from the current contribution system for the self-employed (in which they choose how much to contribute) to one based on their earnings, as is the case with wage earners. Social Security is raising quotas only for the first three years, until 2025, so that the full transition is completed in the next nine years. The quotas proposed by the Ministry continue to leave the contribution of self-employed workers below what wage earners with similar earnings contribute.

From UATAE, an association of freelancers linked to CCOO, they still expect "a greater effort to reduce the quota for those who need it most." "Those who enter the least have to face a very high percentage of effort and we believe that in this line from Social Security they have to make a greater effort", they explain in the organization led by Mª José Landaburu. Regarding the benefit for cessation of activity, in UATAE they consider that "there is a good intention, but clearly it must be improved because with some of the demanded requirements it will limit access to it".

In UPTA, the association linked to UGT, they are the closest to the Executive's proposal. For weeks, the organization has been celebrating the changes offered by the Ministry. “On the part of our organization, we value [la oferta] as good to reach an agreement of all the parts”, has expressed Eduardo Abad. Except for "nuances", in UPTA they believe that it is a proposal that they can endorse and indicate to the Government that, in the event that a "100%" agreement is not reached with all the parties, it "decides" on its own. The next meeting will take place on Friday, according to Abad.

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