July 10, 2020

The self-employed will be unemployed and will not pay the contributions, but the contributions will.

The President of the Government Pedro Sánchez, advanced all the labor measures that the plan has specially destined for the self-employed group, with more than 3.2 million workers. Among the main ones, exemption from the payment of quotas to the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers (RETA) and access to unemployment due to cessation of activity, for which the procedures will be shortened. Therefore, an extraordinary benefit is established for cessation of activity subject to a regulation other than the ordinary one, according to which the corporate self-employed – the one who has workers in his charge – may request a Temporary Regulation File (ERTE) for his employees and At the same time request the collection of an extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity, without obligation to contribute while this exceptional situation lasts. In order to facilitate this access to the benefit, the procedures will be simplified, so when adhering to causes of force majeure, the benefit will be granted almost automatically by the mutual companies.

The reaction of the main associations of own-account workers -ATA, UPTA and UATAE- has not been uniform. Meanwhile, the president of ATA, Lorenzo Amor, harshly criticized these measures for “falling short” and not attending to one of our main requests, the suspension of quotas, both Eduardo Abad, president of UPTA, and María José Landáburu, from Uatae, they were “very satisfied” with this plan.

Amor was the most combative when it came to criticizing the measures of the Government, since he understands that “they have left us aside” in this crisis for not approving the suspension of the payment of the quota of the self-employed, “as France has done.” The person in charge of ATA charged the president for what he believes is a redress with the rest of the workers. “We are at home, without working, paying electricity, rent, IBI and having zero income and, therefore, there must be zero contributions.” In a video on social networks, Amor showed his outrage with a plan that “does not include the true needs that the self-employed have right now. If they cannot work, they cannot enter either, and if they do not enter they cannot pay either the contributions or the fees ”. He also claimed that Spain should have followed the same path as France, “which decided to suspend contributions and the quota of the self-employed to preserve them.” The leader has estimated at 18,000 million euros the losses that self-employed workers will suffer in two months for the measures taken.

Eduardo Abad does not have the same vision, who considers that the decisions taken “are very important in terms of protection, since thousands of self-employed workers will be able to enjoy a benefit for cessation of temporary activity and the suspension of the RETA contribution while this situation emergency is present and is classified as a cause of force majeure “. For the president of UPTA, it is urgent that the Ministry of Social Security prepare a guide with the procedure to be able to apply for the benefit and also “they must be articulated”, in common agreement with the mutual insurance companies and the organizations of self-employed workers, “the channels necessary for the affirmative settlement of all the applications that are submitted and that meet the requirements ”.

In the same sense, María José Landáburu expressed herself, stressing that “it is essential that public guarantees and liquidity reach the economic fabric of the 3.2 million self-employed.” For the president of UATAE, the Executive should reflect so that the exoneration of contributions is not limited to the duration of the Alarm State, and urges that consideration be given to extending this measure beyond that period, since “the economic impact also It will be longer and we must try to sustain and accompany the return to activity ”. Landáburu recalls that “the fact that the temporary cessation benefit is calculated on the basis of contributions will once again expose the social protection deficits” suffered by the self-employed, and asks that the way of “moving to a fairer and more progressive listing model ”.

The Government defended yesterday that these measures are the most appropriate at this time to help sustain the economy of this sector and defended that it is not possible to suspend quotas, since the situation does not require that this group “have greater liquidity” because consumption has practically been reduced to zero. However, he did not rule out that stimulus measures like this could be carried out in the future. “Now, the important thing is to respond to the crisis and sustain the economy until this moment is overcome.”


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