The Government limits the maximum duration of the ERTE by COVID-19 to the state of alarm

The Government has decreed that the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) that are caused by the coronavirus crisis and the force majeure modality may not extend beyond the duration of the state of alarm.

According to the royal decree law on labor measures approved yesterday by the Government and published this Saturday by the Official State Gazette (BOE), the files under the extraordinary mechanisms established for this situation will have as maximum duration "that of the decreed state of alarm" , initially extended until April 12.

The limitation, adds the rule, will be applied both in those files that have an express resolution and in those that are resolved by administrative silence.

The Government approved on March 17 a first package of measures to try to alleviate the effect of the pandemic on employment.

Among them was considering the ERTEs that had "their direct cause" in the COVID-19 as force majeure, a modality that allows for more agile processing.

Likewise, bonuses were approved, 100% for companies with less than 50 workers and 75% for the rest, on the part of the Social Security fee that the company must continue to pay when opting for an ERTE.

In these two weeks, more than 210,000 ERTEs have been presented in Spain with more than one million affected workers.

The royal decree law also details the prohibition of dismissals related to this health crisis announced yesterday by the Government.

Thus, it states that "force majeure and economic, technical, organizational and production causes" by COVID-19 "cannot be understood as justification for the termination of the employment contract or dismissal."

This means preventing, as of today and without retroactive effect, these dismissals with compensation of 20 days per year since, a priori, they would not be considered appropriate.

The severance pay increases to 33 days if considered inadmissible, so this change would increase the cost of such a dismissal.

The Government also includes in the regulation measures to further control ERTEs, with sanctions if misuse is made, as well as temporary contracts are maintained until the end of the health crisis and a procedure to streamline the collection of benefits.


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