The Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá, has guaranteed the extension of the ERTE beyond January 31 if necessary as a result of the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and wanted to make it clear what the extension until that date should not be understood as an “end point” in the process.
This was stated at a press conference after holding a meeting with trade union and business organizations, together with the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres. Today in Tenerife the minister began a three-day visit to the islands that will continue tomorrow Friday in Gran Canaria to deal with the migratory crisis that the Canary Islands are suffering and on Saturday he will be in Fuerteventura.
José Luis Escrivá affirmed that it is “Absolutely conscious” of the uniqueness of the Canary Islands and that it is the region, together with the Balearic Islands, where the impact of the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 is much greater than in the rest, a situation that, he recalled, has been reflected in the different regulatory decisions that have been made since the pandemic began.
In this regard, Escrivá explained that if the level of recovery of workers in ERTE is above 80% in the country as a whole, andn Canaries barely exceeds 60%, which requires “a very determined public action and a very focused design of the protection measures for the productive fabric and workers.”
Thus, in the meeting held today, the economic and social agents were assured that the extension of the ERTE until January 31 should not be interpreted “in any case” as a “full stop” in the process, but rather these windows 3-4 months “They give flexibility in adjusting these protection mechanisms.”
In this sense, Escrivá said he is convinced that this instrument will allow a very high protection level of those activities that will continue to be affected by the crisis.
Minimum vital income
During the meeting, the deployment of the Minimum Living Income was also addressed so that the level of protection for the most vulnerable families is “full”.
Escrivá indicated that, until October, some 6,000 households – about 25,000 people – are going to receive this income in the Canary Islands and advanced that in the coming months this number may be extended “widely”. In addition, he recalled that it will be done retroactively until June in order to “alleviate” the situation in addition to that of the other protection mechanisms.
The minister wanted to make it clear that the Minimum Living Income is an instrument that “has come to stay permanently”; therefore, “it should be designed as best as possible and fully reaches all the most vulnerable households,” he remarked.
Welfare state ‘cushion’
For his part, the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, acknowledged to the signing agents the consensus reached for the extension of the ERTE, which, he said, has become the “cushion” that allows to maintain the state of well-being and the contractual relationship of millions of Spaniards, and also thousands of canaries, who can keep their jobs.
Ángel Víctor Torres wanted to remember that the RD Law that extends the ERTE of force majeure until January 31 includes all the proposals of the Canary Island Council of Labor Relations, and in its additional provision provides the possibility ofreconvene the tripartite table as of January 31 for to decide a new extension beyond that date.
Representing the business sector, the president of CEHAT and Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, highlighted that today’s meeting has served to thank the minister for the effort that has been made to achieve the extension of the ERTE and include not only the accommodation sector , if not to the entire value chain of the tourism sector.
Likewise, they have taken advantage of the meeting to put on the table some demands, such as an exemption to companies from paying Social Security that reaches 100%, and not 75%, which would protect not only permanent workers, but also also to temporary ones, and to prevent companies from continuing to “bleed out” and “disappear”, a request that the minister has promised to study.