September 18, 2020

The SEPE claims “undue charges” to workers who continue in ERTE: “They are only adjustments”


Problems in ERTE management continue. Workers who have not yet returned to their company find these days that the SEPE claims “undue charges”, which appear in the payroll receipts tab of their profile on the employment service website. The amounts equal, and even exceed, the total of what they have received in recent months.

“Since I have been at ERTE, I have charged 2,900 euros and 3,700 have been claimed from me,” explains one affected person. “My company is pending. In fact, I found out because it was happening to more colleagues. The SEPE tells them that it is a computer error and that they do not know why it happens. I made an appointment and they gave me for October 14.” In addition to the improper charge, this and other people with whom elDiario.es has spoken are surprised to appear “unsubscribed” from the ERTE since June 30, the day the first extension of those requested by force majeure ended.

Clearly, an improper charge is an amount received in error that the worker would have to pay back. The Ministry of Labor has initiated in recent weeks a inspection campaign to detect fraud: for example, that a company keep in ERTE people who are already working. Furthermore, there have been news of people who have returned to work and have continued to collect from SEPE, whom the entity will claim.

But why do they complain when in theory everything is correct? Part of the problem seems to be linguistic. “It may appear as an ‘improper collection’ something that is just an adjustment,” said María José Gómez, adviser to the SEPE’s general sub-directorate for Benefits in a Telemadrid’s office. “It is computer science: we need it but it makes us desperate. It is something that we are asked a lot now. There is alarm when we see that a system tells us that we owe something to someone. Peace of mind: if you have charged the month and it was your responsibility to collect it because you were not working yet , will be regularized in the next days, when they process the files “.

The presenter of the office ended up recommending not to look at the web so much so as not to get scared. The information that appears on the page, said Gómez, “conforms to a reality that is internal. It is normal for the worker to see it from the outside and not understand anything. I also perfectly understand that he is alarmed.”

Alarm and clueless agencies

The “adjustments” that SEPE calls “improper charges” are taking place in many cases because companies or agencies did not communicate well how their ERTE continued from June. Companies must send each month a file with the “activity period” indicating which employees return, with what type of working day, and how many remain without work.

Until the alarm state ended, SEPE extended automatically all ERTE due to force majeure in which there were no modifications. And it still does if there are no changes. For example: if you put all your workers in an ERTE in March and they are still there, SEPE does not ask you for that monthly file. But at the moment when there is a change, yes.

“Every day they add new procedures. When people rejoin, you communicate it. But if they do not rejoin, why do you force me to communicate it? I communicate that they unsubscribe, not that they do not unsubscribe,” they explain from Asesoría You arrive. “The problem is that it is impossible to contact SEPE and the procedure has been changing.”

Sources from the Ministry of Labor point out that companies must present the period of activity a month past due: in July you communicate the month of June and so on. If they are delayed, workers will not be charged that month, they will appear “unsubscribed” and will see these “improper charges” because the system will detect that extra charges have been made. In any case, if the agency or company solves it the following month, the worker will collect what is missing at once and the concept of “undue” will disappear.

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