The self-employed still do not know how much they will raise the monthly payment they pay to Social Security. The Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio, yesterday cooled the expectations of the main associations of autonomous workers ATA and UPTA, which on Wednesday said they had reached a preliminary agreement with the Secretary of State for Security, Octavio Granado to raise the minimum bases of quotation of the self-employed 1.25% and increase the rates that are applied on that basis from 29.80% to 30%. This would mean an increase of 5 euros per month of the minimum fee now paid by the self-employed (about 60 euros a year) and, in addition, would entail an improvement of several benefits (cessation of activity, temporary disability or training).
"I want to clarify that it is still in the negotiation phase, the meeting yesterday (between Labor and ATA and UPTA) was timely, of the many that are having their various organizations to reach an agreement and reform the special regime of self-employed workers Yesterday there was one more meeting but there still have to be more meetings with all the associations in the sector, "Valerio said yesterday when he was asked to clarify whether or not he had said a pact.
And the same Wednesday the first doubts arose about the existence of the aforementioned pre-agreement. Barely an hour after the end of the aforementioned meeting, and once ATA and UPTA had publicly announced the details of the agreement, the first clarifications came from the Ministry of Labor.
These qualifications pointed to yes there was agreement to raise the minimum contribution base by 1.25% to 944 euros per month but not on the increase in the contribution rates needed to pay for the improvement of benefits. In fact, from Labor they considered that this increase in rates could reach up to 31.4%, which would imply that the minimum quota of the auto loans would increase around 18 euros per month (about 260 euros per year).
The main associations of the collective ATA and UPTA insisted yesterday that this pre-agreement was closed with Granado. But Valerio said that not only is it not closed and there should be more meetings – one would be convened by the end of the next week – but, in addition, the agreement reached with the four associations that are sitting at the table of negotiation (ATA, UPTA, Uatae and Ceat) must be ratified by employers and trade unions in the field of social dialogue. "Of course he will also have to see himself at the social dialogue table that he did not want me to forget," Valerio insisted on two occasions today.
What happened on Wednesday since the top representatives of ATA and UPTA left the meeting and announced the details of the pre-agreement and an hour later when the Ministry of Labor and Social Security denied a part of this agreement? Different sources consulted assure that there were pressures from Uatae. Specifically, from the top of CC OO, union to which the latter association is linked.
However, from Uatae deny these pressures and clarify that they do not agree with the rate increase to 30% because they are aware that with this increase it is impossible to afford the improvement of benefits offered to the group. This is also one of the reasons argued today by sources of work: "if (ATA and UPTA) do not move of a type of 30% maybe it is necessary to reduce the improvement of benefits," they said. Although, said this, they were suspicious of this possibility because the improvement of the social protection of this group "is one of the priorities of the Government".
In all this cross of statements, the thesis of the pressures of CC OO gain strength with statements made yesterday by the general secretary of this union, Unai Sordo, who showed his "anger" at the "announcement of something that is not confirmed and that it is an agreement with some associations, not with all of them because Uatae has not been counted on, to address in a fragmented and partial way one of the big issues of income to social security and is how the self-employed are quoted ".
According to Sordo, "the problem is neither the base nor the type of contribution, but the free choice of the base can not continue, apart from the real income." We must go to a system in which, by crossing the data with the Treasury , the self-employed person quotes according to the income he receives, and in which the contingencies for which they are quoted are obligatory and not voluntary, "the union leader explained.
In this line, from Uatae said yesterday that his proposal is that in 2019 only increase the minimum contribution base of the self-employed – the 1.25% that supposedly has been agreed with all organizations – and that the rise is delayed of the types and improvements of protection that this would take when the future contribution system is implemented according to real income of the self-employed worker. Something that, in theory, should be put into operation over the next year.
In any case Valerio was confident that in the meeting on Wednesday there were "positive steps." He said, in addition, to have "absolute conviction that there will be agreement in this matter, which will be good for 3.2 million self-employed". As he explained the agreement will imply that "with not much more quotation, which is still to be defined the amount, there will be a significant improvement of the protective action."
Specifically, the minister said that these future social benefits will include coverage of professional accidents; supports for motherhood; bonus of the contribution from the second month of medical leave; and a new regulation of access to the benefit due to cessation of activity. "We have to change the unemployment of the self-employed, which is now very difficult to collect, due to its complex processing, it has to be simplified and followed up," concluded Valerio.