The negotiation of the labor reform advances and the tension between the parties increases. The Government has sent the social partners a
new ERTE proposal, which is currently being debated at the table, and which proposes a permanent regulation of this mechanism, for which three modalities are established, all linked to the training and relocation of workers in other companies.
The proposal -which also has a political reading since it gives more power to the second vice president, Nadia calviño, that to the head of Labor, Yolanda Diaz– It has not been well taken up by businessmen, who describe the text as “cumbersome” and claim that it is full of “ideology” and “interventionism.” The discomfort is such that the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, did not hesitate yesterday to disassociate entrepreneurs from the arrival of European funds: “We prefer that the funds do not arrive and that the rules are better,” he said in an interview with Onda Cero.
According to the draft negotiated by the social agents, the Government is committed to maintaining the ERTEs due to force majeure in terms similar to those that have been applied during the pandemic. But it also includes two other new types under the one baptized as the RED Mechanism for Flexibility and Stabilization of Employment and which is baptized as structural and cyclical. For the three cases, it is established that the reduction of the working day
will range between 10% and 75% of the total.
The scheme designed for structural causes would be activated to face changes that have to do with the introduction of new production methods and that generate situations in which keeping the workforce leads the company to a loss of competitiveness. These situations should be addressed with “requalification of the workers affected to guarantee their employment in the company itself or, in processes of professional transition of these to jobs in other companies or sectors,” reads the document. In the latter case, the company of origin would transfer to Fogasa 50% of the amount of the unfair dismissal that would have corresponded to the worker in the absence of relocation to establish a fund to finance these relocation processes.
ERTE to face cyclical crises, like the one that has been experienced with the pandemic, will only be activated when there are economic causes derived from a “conjunctural situation of general scope”. Here the power would pass into the hands of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, who will have to establish what objective parameters justify its use. In addition, it must receive a prior activation by the Council of Ministers. Its maximum duration would be one year, with exemptions in contributions and benefits for workers equivalent to 70% of the regulatory base.
Calviño’s superiority in this scheme, which could make us think that the proposal is more akin to the business world, the rejection in CEOE is resounding. One of the main sources of controversy has been generated by the mode of financing. The proposal involves creating a fund that would be nurtured in a triple way: on the one hand it would be endowed with excess income from unemployment social contributions, on the other with contributions established in the General State Budgets and finally with funds from of the European Union. It also maintains one of the clauses that have generated the most controversy during the pandemic since the benefits in terms of contribution linked to this RED Mechanism would be conditional on maintaining the employment of those affected during the six months following the end of the ERTE.
Speaking to the media in the halls of Congress, the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz He has asked to “turn off the lights” and has appealed to “discretion” to achieve consensus among all parties.