The Government and the trade unions CC OO and UGT have practically closed an agreement to reform the current unemployment subsidy for people over 55 years of age, which is now ahead of 52 years. In the absence of some fringes, the Ministry of Labor and the trade union centrals are waiting for the CEOE-Cepyme associations to join the agreement. But, if the businessmen do not finally join this measure, it is expected that the Executive will approve the new conditions for this aid through a royal decree, as advanced by the Secretary General of CC OO, Unai Sordo.
Some of the changes that this aid will experience are also agreed between the Socialist Government and Podemos in their budget agreement (with a cost of 330 million euros for 2019). These modifications consist mainly of a return to the legislation that regulated this subsidy before 2012 and 2013, when the PP government tightened its access conditions. But, in addition, the new requirements could include other changes promoted by the unions. All these measures will increase, in an amount still undetermined, the group that collects this subsidy and that now around 250,000 people. These are the novelties:
- Access age: The age at which this subsidy can begin to be charged will be reduced from the current 55 years to 52 years, as it was before 2012. According to CC OO, this reduction will allow the payment of some 50,000 more unemployed than at present.
- Rent criteria: The level of income to access this aid will be measured individually, taking into account only the income of the unemployed, as was the case until 2013. In that year, the Government modified the criteria so that the family income of the unemployed was taken into account. unemployed. However, this change is the only novelty that the offices of the State Public Employment Service (Sepe) have been applying since last July, since the Constitutional Court ruled that the family income criterion was unconstitutional and rents had to be re-evaluated. Individuals of the unemployed. This modification could increase the annual discharges of this subsidy by 20%, according to the Executive's calculations.
- Quotation base: The beneficiaries of this subsidy will re-quote for a base equivalent to 125% of the minimum base of the general regime and not of 100% of said base, as it happened at present.
- Retirement: As soon as these new criteria are approved, recipients of this aid will be able to access retirement at the time they want (voluntary early retirement, compulsory retirement or at the ordinary legal age) as long as they meet the requirements for it. In this way, they will no longer be obliged to retire early – with the consequent cut of the pension – at the first moment they can do so. This change would benefit some 30,000 people, according to CC OO. In addition, another of the novelties that are negotiated in this matter, and that is the main fringe that remains to be closed, is that the years of collection of this subsidy are taken into account when accounting for the two years that must have been quoted to access a retirement pension within the last ten years and as a grace period for access to early retirement.
- Part time: Those workers who only receive a part of the unemployment subsidy because they come from a part-time job, will receive the full subsidy, if the agreement between the unions and the Government goes ahead.
- Situation prior to access: Another requirement that will be eliminated, if this pact is finally approved, is that the unemployed person does not necessarily have to accede from a situation of payment of an unemployment benefit or after having been hired at least three months.
On the other hand, Sordo also urged the Ministry of Labor to complete the design of a new subsidy for unemployment, dependent on Social Security, for those who exhaust the contributory benefits and do not have the age to access the subsidy for over 52 years. It would be an aid that would replace the current Extraordinary Subsidy for Unemployment (SED) approved in the 2018 Budgets to replace, in turn, expired programs such as the Prepared or the Activation Plan for Employment (PAE).