The Council of Ministers yesterday approved a long decree that includes measures to support the self-employed, companies, workers and consumers. Below, we summarize and explain the fine print of the main ones:
Self-employed and company moratorium
A different period is established for the moratorium on social contributions between companies and the self-employed. In the case of companies, the period is between the months of April and June 2020, while for the self-employed the months are between May and July 2020, provided that the activities they carry out have not been suspended due to the state alarm.
The Administration is given a period of three months to respond to the granting of the moratorium. In the event that the requests have “false or incorrect data”, the late fees will be applied with a surcharge and interest, in addition to having to answer for possible criminal or administrative liability.
Although the Vice President of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, said that the postponement of the payment of the debts with the Social Security that had to be paid between April and June 2020 would not have a surcharge, finally an interest of 0.5% will be applied.
Limit to request the cessation of activity of the self-employed
The regulation on the extraordinary provision of cessation of activity (a kind of ‘unemployment’) is extended for the self-employed affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with an important limit on petitions: “It may be requested until the last day of the following month to which the alarm state ended ”.
It also develops how to prove the reduction of 75% of the invoicing that is required to receive the benefit: it can be done by providing accounting information that justifies it or, if there is no obligation to have this documentation, through “any means of proof admitted in law ”. In any case, “every request must be accompanied by an affidavit stating that all the requirements required to qualify for this benefit are met.”
In addition, particular conditions are set to calculate the reduction in income of the self-employed dedicated to the performing arts and performance halls, as well as those dedicated to seasonal agricultural productions.
Temporary worker allowance
The Government has created a benefit of 430 euros for a month, which can be extended if the Executive decides, for those temporary workers whose contracts have been extinguished during the state of alarm and have not contributed enough to receive the benefit. unemployment or have access to another subsidy. There is a condition to access the aid: that the temporary contract be, “at least, two months long”. The decree specifies that “interim, formative and relief contracts are included”. This subsidy is also “incompatible with the perception of any minimum income, inclusion income, social salary or similar aid granted by any Public Administration”.
How can it be processed? The decree explains that the SEPE (Public State Employment Service) will establish “within a month” from the entry into force of this regulation “the procedure for processing applications, which will determine the forms, processing system ( face-to-face or telematics) and the deadlines for its presentation ”.
Extraordinary subsidy for domestic workers
Household employees who were registered with Social Security before the state of alarm and who have lost their income, totally or partially, may receive an extraordinary unemployment benefit.
Requirements: having temporarily stopped providing the service due to the risk of contagion or being fired. It will be necessary to prove this circumstance either with a letter from the employer or with the letter of dismissal or the document of withdrawal from Social Security.
The amount will be 70% of the regulatory base prior to the month in which the loss of income has occurred and may not be higher than the interprofessional minimum wage, excluding the proportional part of the extraordinary payments. For those who have several jobs, the calculation will be made based on the contribution of each one of them.
The subsidy may be collected in full if all jobs have been lost or partially, if the person has stopped entering one or more households but maintains others. The collection will be monthly from the date of withdrawal or loss of income. The subsidy is compatible with other salary income but incompatible with the temporary disability subsidy (that is, with being on leave) and with the recoverable leave approved by decree.
Maintenance of employment in ERTE of cultural companies
It relaxes the requirements of the employment maintenance clause required of companies in the cultural field that take up an ERTE by Covid-19. In general, the commitment to maintain employment is established for six months after the resumption of activity. The new decree establishes that this requirement “will be valued in attention to the specific characteristics of the different sectors and the applicable labor regulations, taking into account, in particular, the specificities of those companies that present a high variability or seasonality of employment or a relationship direct with specific events or shows, as happens, among others, in the field of performing, musical, cinematographic and audiovisual arts ”.
Specifically, the termination of temporary contracts that come to term shall not be understood to be in breach of the commitment to maintain employment.
Although the Ministry of Labor explains that this relaxation of the employment maintenance clause only affects companies in the cultural field, Professor of Labor Law Ignasi Beltrán considers that the wording of the text gives rise to a broader interpretation: “The key is in the ‘among others’. The title says what it says, but the “among others” opens the door to all sectors that have a similar situation. ”
Loss of work for the confinement of entire towns
The Government has regulated the protection for some workers who are prevented from carrying out their work as a consequence of “total confinement”, which is being agreed for entire towns. The benefit for work leave assimilated to the work accident (such as those infected by the virus and those affected by preventive quarantines) is guaranteed to people forced to move from town to carry out their work “provided that the confinement of the population has been agreed where he has his domicile and has been expressly denied the possibility of moving by the competent authority “,” he cannot carry out his work telematically “and” he has no right to receive any other public benefit “.
The confinement and refusal of movement accreditation will be issued by “the town hall of the domicile before the corresponding body of the public health service” and the company or the self-employed will also have to prove the impossibility of teleworking.
Money from vocational training for unemployment
It is established that “exceptionally and extraordinarily” due to the economic impact of the measures against the COVID-19 crisis, the Government may use the income from social contributions for vocational training obtained in 2020 to finance any of the benefits and actions of the unemployment protection system or to finance programs that promote the hiring of unemployed people or help them regain employment.
Self-employed electric social bonus
The decree expands the group of potential recipients of the social electricity bonus, which individuals, in their habitual residence, with the right to contract the Voluntary Price for Small Consumers, who have an income, may receive on an exceptional and temporary basis. equal to or lower than certain thresholds referenced to the IPREM, and that prove before the reference marketer, having ceased their professional activity as self-employed professionals or have seen their turnover reduced by 75 percent on average compared to the previous semester
The decree will allow the self-employed who have ceased their activity or reduced their turnover by 75% to access discounts on the social electricity bonus temporarily for their habitual residence. The reference to access them will be the Multiple Effects Income Public Indicator (IPREM). The user must prove to the reference marketer that the user or his family unit receives a total annual income not exceeding € 18,799 –2.5 times the IPREM–, if there are no minors in the home; at € 22,559 (3 times the IPREM), if there is a minor in the family unit; and € 26,318 (3.5 times the IPREM), in the event that there are two minors in the family unit.
When the contract for the supply of the professional or self-employed person’s habitual residence is in the name of the legal entity, the social voucher must be requested for the natural person, which will imply a change of ownership of the supply contract. The bond will have a maximum validity of six months. After this period, the consumer will be billed at the semi-regulated PVPC rate (the cheapest) by the same reference marketer, although the consumer will be able to take advantage of the free market.
To provide information to citizens about these measures, MITECO has set up an information telephone number, 913 146 673, with business hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Queries are also answered through the mail [email protected]
Alternatives and rebates for consumers
Those who have paid for some good or service that they have not been able to enjoy due to the confinement, have the right to 1) terminate the contract within fourteen days 2) that the company offers them an alternative or a refund.
The company that collects fees –for example, a gym– You must stop them until you can provide the service normally. For what has already been charged, you must offer an alternative and proceed with the refund if the consumer does not accept it.
If you have bought a combined trip in an agency, this can give you a voucher with a validity year for you to redeem it. If you have not used it in a year, it must return your money.
If the service companies contracted for that trip (for example, the hotel) return the money to the intermediary (the agency) and you have canceled the contract in 14 days, the intermediary must return the money and deduct it from the value of the voucher.
Two more days of bookmaker advertising
The Royal Decree-Law will come into effect as of this Thursday, the day after its publication in the Official State Gazette, with the exception of the prohibition on the advertising of bookmakers except in the early morning hours (from 1 to 5) , which will come into force “two days after the publication, that is, around 7 in the morning on Friday. Failure to comply with this prohibition will be considered a serious violation of the Gambling Law, with fines of between 100,000 euros and 1 million euros and the possibility of suspending the operator’s license for up to six months.
Deferral of interest for companies with state loans
The decree includes a series of measures to “sustain economic activity”. For example: companies that have been granted a loan by the General Secretariat and of Industry and SMEs can provide guarantees until November 3, 2020. They can also request modifications to the amortization table (either increase the maximum term or the grace period). ) provided that they justify that they have lost activity, their sales have fallen or their supply chain has been interrupted.
The decree also suspends for a year the payment of interest and amortization of loans granted by the Secretary of State for Tourism (the Emprendetur lines). Companies that have paid fees to participate in international trade fairs organized by ICEX will receive the money back. The Government has enabled ICEX to do so.
More restrictions on foreign investment
The decree expands restrictions on foreign investment during this extraordinary situation to prevent companies from countries not only outside the EU, but also at the community level, which are controlled by non-EU investors, from taking control of Spanish entities in sectors strategic taking advantage of the fall in their price due to the coronavirus, so that they cannot acquire more than 10% of their capital.
This real ownership will be understood to exist when those investors directly or indirectly control more than 25% of the capital or voting rights or when they exercise control, direct or indirect investment vehicle, by other means.
Guarantees for the electricity companies and credits for the electricity and gas system
“To alleviate the financial burden” of the suspension mechanism for gas, electricity and other energy products bills, which is contemplated in the decree for self-employed and SMEs affected by COVID-19, it will allow electricity and gas distributors, distributors butane and other energy products access the line of extraordinary guarantees that the Government has launched, endowed with up to 100,000 million.
The decree allows freelancers and companies to temporarily suspend their supply contracts or modify them without penalty, making it possible to change the access toll and adjust the contracted power up or down, at no cost, while the state of alarm lasts. To finance the decrease in income for the electricity and gas system that this measure will entail, the decree provides for two loans by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition in the next General State Budgets.
The affected marketers will be exempt from paying the access toll to the transport and distribution networks corresponding to the deferred invoices, as well as from paying the VAT, the Special Electricity Tax and, where appropriate, of Hydrocarbons corresponding to those deferred invoices. These will be regularized in the six months following the end of the declaration of the state of alarm. The self-employed and companies that avail themselves of the suspension of billing may not change their gas or electricity trading company until they have been up-to-date with payments.
Moratorium on permits for renewable plants
The decree extends by two months from the end of the state of alarm the term of validity of the permits for access and connection to the electricity network of renewable projects “to provide legal certainty to both the promoters” of those projects, ” those who depend on large investments essential to meet the objectives of penetration of new renewable energies, such as managers of electricity grids “.
Specific plan for Justice
“Given the situation generated in the Administration of Justice derived from the coronavirus pandemic,” the Government will approve a specific action plan in the field of social, contentious-administrative and commercial jurisdictional orders, given that “it is foreseeable that a notable increase in matters of cases as a result of the increase in the number of dismissals, claims for financial liability or declarations of competitions and consumer claims, among other actions ”.
Pension fund rescue
Within six months from the declaration of the state of alarm, the Government expands the circumstances by which funds can be withdrawn from pension plans (also in company and mutual plans). It affects those people who are unemployed due to an ERTE related to the Covid-19, the businessmen of establishments whose opening has been prevented by the decree of the state of alarm and the self-employed workers who “have ceased their activity” as a consequence of the crisis of the coronavirus.
In these cases, the amount that those affected can withdraw cannot exceed: the wages no longer received in the ERTE, the estimated net income that has been lost while the closing of the business derived from the state of alarm and “the estimated net income ”that the self-employed have stopped receiving due to ceasing their activity in the health crisis. .
Although the Government reserves the option to further detail this point, it establishes in the decree that access to these resources will be subject “to the tax regime established for the benefits of pension plans” and sets a limit for the reimbursement of this money: “It must be carried out within a maximum period of seven business days from the date the participant submits the corresponding supporting documentation.”
Public Employees Helping Against Covid-19
Employees and public employees who voluntarily request to collaborate in their home administration or “in any other administration” that require a reinforcement in personnel as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis will continue to receive their remuneration from the home agency, without any modification of your administrative situation or employment contract while the alarm status declaration lasts.
This work against the Covid-19 may be carried out “both in person and through non-contact modalities of work, with the prior authorization of its hierarchical superior and communication to the competent body in matters of personnel.”
Extension of contracts for teachers and researchers
The twelfth and thirteenth additional provisions develop extensions of the contracts of assistants, teaching assistant professors, associate professors and visiting professors in Universities, as well as researchers in public calls, who are affected by the state of alarm, with different options of extensions a Once the health crisis ends.
Compatibility of the subsidy for the care of children with cancer
It is also developed that the subsidy for the care of minors affected by cancer or other serious illness will be compatible with the unemployment benefit as a consequence of an ERTE by Covid-19. The ERTE that the company processes for workers who are covered by this measure should only affect “the part of the day not affected by the care of the minor.” “During the time that the state of alarm remains, there will be no obligation to quote, considering the period to be quoted for all purposes,” states the text.
With information from Laura Olías, Antonio M. Vélez and Analía Plaza.