January 26, 2021

Unions and employers agree to justify temporary layoffs due to coronavirus



They ask the Government to agree on the measures to be taken at the social dialogue table and with a royal decree

The social agents, employers (CEOE and Cepyme) and unions (CCOO, UGT) have agreed on a package of extraordinary measures to respond to the impact of the coronavirus on companies and workers and have reflected them in a document sent to the Government. Both parties understand that the possible situations and contingencies derived from this pandemic do not have a sufficient response in the current labor and Social Security regulations. For this reason, they urge the Executive to approve a royal decree of temporary and exceptional measures, but which must always “be negotiated with trade union and business organizations”.

The main of the measures they are demanding is a new regulation of the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE), which must affect the causality linked to the effects of the coronavirus, the simplification of procedures and the shortening of the resolution periods. In this sense, the measures adopted by the Administrations for public health reasons – closure of centers, cancellation of activities, restrictions on the mobility of people or goods, isolation to avoid contagion, or lack of supplies, among others – may justify a ERTE “by force majeure”.

Other measures proposed by the social partners include the protection of permanent discontinued workers; attend to the closing of schools, day centers and mobility restrictions; and facilitate teleworking, understanding that the companies’ obligation to assess risks with the self-evaluation carried out voluntarily by the worker has been met, as an exception. The social partners, in a joint statement, stress that additional funds are needed to protect employment and economic activity against this crisis, but they understand that these “should not be computed in order to determine the path of compliance with the public deficit.” In this way, they defend that the measures proposed with an impact on Social Security “can count on the management and advance of funds from Social Security itself, which must be compensated with an extraordinary aid fund.”

The organizations have transferred this agreement to the Government with the aim that the measures be agreed upon at the table of social dialogue.

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