The agreement for the extension of the ERTE It is close, but there are still important fringes to tie. This is the climate with which the meeting of social agents ended yesterday to achieve the fourth extension of this scheme to which more than 750,000 workers in Spain are still welcomed and which may mark the future of many other companies. Thus, there is agreement that ERTEs must be extended until May 31But the employers’ claim to reduce the amount of exemptions to be returned in the event of dismissal is not allowing an agreement to be concluded between the Government and the social agents to extend this protection to employment.
This fourth extension will allow this employment protection formula to be in force beyond the date on which the state of alarm ends (May 9) and after Easter, which this year will be celebrated between March 28 and March 4 of April. This adjustment of dates will mean a relief for tourism, one of the most affected by the pandemic, although the sector continues to request direct aid from the Government to be able to maintain activity in a year in which it foresees millionaire losses.
There is harmony in the dates and the proposal of the Ministry of Labor has also been well received so that companies can change the type of file of temporary employment regulation (ERTE) automatically. Thus, the transition from a temporary regulation file of use of force majeure to another due to impediment or limitation of the activity, or vice versa, may be carried out without having to re-process a new file. A modification that the social agents had demanded and that would allow expediting the files and avoid a new administrative collapse that continues to cause delays in the payments of benefits.
In this case, the change would imply that the corresponding exemptions would be applied to the employer based on the ERTE in which it was found. Companies whose situation is modified in these terms must communicate the change in situation produced, the date of effects, as well as the centers and workers affected, to the labor authority that had approved the file.
Among the requirements is that companies that have communicated the change in situation to the labor authority must submit a responsible statement to the General Treasury of Social SecurityThis being sufficient for the application of the corresponding exemption percentages depending on the impeding or limiting nature of the force majeure situation in which the company finds itself at all times. Thus, the labor authority will transfer the communication to the Labor and Social Security Inspectorate, this being the only entity that can verify the concurrence of the facts that determine the origin of the exemptions in the payment of quotas, qualifies the document that is being debated right now at the table.
The negotiation is being simpler than in the previous occasions because it is about extending a previous agreement without introducing substantial changes. However, the claim by employers of lower the job maintenance clause is being the discordant element at the table and has pitted CEOE with the Ministry of Labor and with the unions.
For employers it is vital to reduce the penalty that is currently specified in this clause and that implies the return of exonerations received by the entire workforce in the event that a single worker is laid off. Specifically, the employers ask that this imposition be relaxed and that the exonerations received be returned, but only for workers who finally have to be fired.
In addition, the ERTEs are linked to limitations on dismissal for objective reasons, which translates into increasing the cost of compensation to 33 days per year worked, compared to 20 for the dismissals from. The suspension of temporary contracts, including training, relief and interim contracts is also maintained.
Regarding the points that there is consensus, the ERTE would remain practically as they are at present, with the difference that now they will not have to be requested again and they will be extended automatically, maintaining the exemptions in the same conditions. Thus, for the so-called regrowth ERTE, the exonerations reach 80% for companies with less than 50 workers and 60% for those that exceed this template. Likewise, companies that have not recovered activity may also continue to benefit from the force majeure modality, and exemptions will range between 70%, 60% and 35% in July, August and September for companies with less than 50 employees.
For larger companies that continue to use this modality, the exemptions will be 50%, 40% and 25% throughout the summer months. In addition, partial force majeure files are allowed, as well as ETOPs linked to Covid. In these cases, companies with less than 50 workers They will be able to access exemptions of 60% for employees who have been reactivated and 35% for those who remain in ERTE.