The ERTE by force majeure have been prolonged this week until June 30, after the agreement reached by the Government with the unions and the employers. The pact allows companies that have applied this type of file to maintain exemptions in the payment of social security contributions, although with some changes. A very relevant one affects the procedure to make them effective: companies have to request the exemption in payment and justify it, something that was not done until now.
The agreement to extend the ERTE, embodied in the royal decree 18/2020, it contemplates in its article 4 the “extraordinary measures in the matter of contribution” for the extension of the ERTE by force majeure until June 30.
On the one hand, the files can continue for the total workforce, “in a situation of total force majeure”, in cases that still prevent the restart of their activity, while these causes last “and in no case beyond 30 June 2020. ” On the other hand, for companies that applied an ERTE due to force majeure and can partially reopen their activity in the de-escalation, such as a bar, the possibility is established of maintaining the ERTE only for part of the workforce and removing the file from employees as necessary at the reopening. Those “will be in a situation of partial force majeure derived from COVID-19.”
In both situations, whether the ERTE is fully maintained or transformed into a partial one, companies are entitled to exemptions from the social contributions of the employees included in the file during the months of May and June. But, and here comes the novelty, they must request it from Social Security.
How to request the exemption of fees
The decree establishes that the exemptions in the contribution for May and June will be applied by the General Treasury of Social Security “at the request of the company, after communicating the situation of total or partial force majeure, as well as the identification of the persons affected workers and period of suspension or reduction of working hours “.
“For the exemption to be applicable”, the decree continues, this communication will be made, for each contribution account code (that is, each company), “by means of a responsible declaration that must be submitted, before the calculation is requested of the corresponding payment of quotas “through the System of electronic remission of data in the field of Social Security (RED System).
The communication with the responsible statement, requesting the exoneration of quotas and explaining whether the company maintains its ERTE due to total force majeure or if it passes to a partial one, must be made by all the companies, Social Security sources explain to eldiario.es. The number of companies that have applied an ERTE of this type is very high: some 530,000 companies, according to Social Security data as of April 30, reaching some 3.1 million workers.
What is the term to carry out this procedure? The established limit is set for “before the calculation of the payment of quotas is requested” and “the liquidation can be presented until the penultimate day of the month,” they specify to this medium in Social Security. Therefore, companies must claim the exemption before May 30.
The types of exemptions
The agreement on the ERTE also establishes different amounts of exoneration of the quotas, depending on whether the companies continue without being able to resume their activity or if they can reopen even partially in de-escalation.
For companies that have to continue with the closure made, the savings in fees are maintained as before: 100% of contributions for companies with less than 50 employees and 75% of fees for companies that exceed that template.
In the case of businesses that can partially resume their activity, exemptions are adapted, with greater savings on the fees of employees who return to work. The objective is to encourage a return to activity, as explained by the Minister of Labor and the Minister of Social Security. In addition, small companies continue to be supported more. The exemptions are as follows:
- For companies with less than 50 workers: 85% of social contributions in May and 70% in June of employees who restart their activity are exempt. Regarding workers who still remain in the ERTE, the savings will be 60% of the social contributions that the company should pay in May and 45% of those corresponding to June.
- For companies with 50 or more workers: the exemption will be 60% of the May contributions of the employees who resume the activity and 45% of those corresponding to June. In addition, the companies will save the payment of 45% of the May dues and 30% of the June dues of the employees who remain in the ERTE.
These conditions will take effect until June 30 and what will happen from this date will be discussed between unions, employers and the Government in a new commission created (Tripartite Labor Monitoring Commission), which starts on May 20. The challenge is to decide which sectors and activities will continue in ERTE after this date and what support they will receive from public funds, which are already assuming a significant bill to cushion the crisis stemming from the pandemic.
The recovery of some activities, such as tourism, is expected to be slow, so that the social agents claim to maintain the support of the State to the sectors that are going to find more difficulties in coming out of this crisis to avoid the closure of companies and destruction Of jobs.