The managers, "overwhelmed" by Erte, SMEs and self-employed

Mercedes Ruiz, expert tax and labor manager, asks politicians and the Administration to listen to her sector, which offers its experience in managing SMEs and the self-employed to contribute to the economic reconstruction pact that, in her opinion, will be indispensable for the serious crisis looming.

Ruiz, deputy secretary of the College of Administrative Managers of Cantabria, has been co-owner for six years of an agency in the Cantabrian municipality of Bezana.

She tells Efe that she and her colleagues are "overwhelmed", with "marathon days", in their case of ten hours a day with a laptop in tow, to deal with the avalanche of work that has come upon them in the last two months .

The plus that these professionals assume at the end of each quarter, due to tax payments, are now joined by the more than 400,000 temporary employment regulation files that are being processed throughout Spain due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus and, to top it off, the beginning of the income campaign, which under normal circumstances is one of his work peaks.

To complicate this barrage, the Administration is drawing up a multitude of decrees that affect the main clients of managers, SMEs, companies and the self-employed, which sometimes "even modify each other", which generates "legal insecurity".

"It is crazy. You find that they say one thing first and then another, and with decrees that are published in the Official Gazette on Sundays late at night, that you have to study and interpret, because sometimes they are not clear", Mercedes Ruiz regrets.

Another of the 'workhorses' is "diabolical deadlines", warns this manager, who considers that the Spanish system has "a problem" of excessive bureaucracy and "of narrowing".

"It should adapt to the 21st century. Now everything is deadlines, deadlines and deadlines and we have to juggle", he regrets; in his case, these 'juggling games' have translated into many hours on the phone and on the computer screen and having had to work until the Easter holidays.

What it also asks is that policy makers and senior officials listen to professionals in the sector, who offer their experience in managing SMEs and the self-employed "to contribute to the economic reconstruction pact" that will have to be articulated in the face of a crisis other than that of 2008 "and much worse".

Mercedes Ruiz also stresses that in this situation due to the coronavirus, the agencies have actually been "forced" to do the work of the SEPES (State Public Employment Service), since they are processing the benefits of the employees of their clients who are at ERTE. "And above all in a hurry, which gave us only five days," he complains.

The burden increases with the start of the income campaign, because many people are also calling their managers "encouraged by the institutional publicity that indicates that it is going to be returned quickly".

Although there are clients who have been asked for a little patience to move ahead with the urgent, which are now the ERTE, this manager tries to take at least a couple of hours a day to advance in income statements so that later "Don't pile everything up."

Mercedes Ruiz also clarifies some issues related to the ERTE and the situation of those affected and points out that the vast majority of workers will not receive the benefit corresponding to the previous two months until May because "that is what it takes to process it."

"One thing is what is said in a slogan and in press conferences and another what is included in the regulation and in the BOE," he highlights, before asking the Administration again to accept the advice of the managers, who are " the link between the SME and the self-employed and the Treasury and Social Security ".

He also believes that, once the health crisis is over, many establishments will not reopen and a large number of self-employed people will not raise the blind again.

And there will be ERTE of those that have been raised for a greater cause that will lead to ERE and unfair dismissals. The situation of many small entrepreneurs, as indicated, is "agonizing" and the aid is slow to arrive or implies "extreme" conditions to receive it. "It is the bureaucracy," he criticizes.

Pilar Palazuelos


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