Few days ago, a new Royal Decree has been published (RD of Social measures in defense of employment) that includes, among other measures, the extension of the ERTES due to force majeure.
This new regulation is motivated by the concern of labor authorities and social organizations about the persistence of negative effects on companies and employment due to the health emergency caused by Covid19 and the possible evolution of the pandemic and the pace it is taking this situation so that the activity can recover its normality as soon as possible.
Initially, the purpose of the RD is to extend the application of the exceptional measures provided for in article 22 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, of extraordinary urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19, whose validity was scheduled to end on September 30, 2020.
On the other hand, foresee new suspension measures and reduction of working hours caused by impediments or limitations in the development of the activity of the companies, as a consequence of restrictive or containment measures adopted by the competent authorities, in specific localizations.
Finally, it aims to extend all those complementary measures for the protection of employment that are understood to be necessary to guarantee the necessary stability, avoiding layoffs and destruction of jobs, provided for in articles 2 and 5 of Royal Decree-Law 9/2020, of 27 of March, whereby complementary measures are adopted, in the workplace the effects caused by COVID-19, and in the sixth additional provision of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, in the wording given by the Royal Decree-Law 18/2020, of May 12, on social measures in defense of employment
The main measure establishes the automatic extension of all temporary employment regulation (ERTES) based on article 22 of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, in force and applicable to the date of entry into force of this Royal Decree- law. The extension will be until January 31, 2021.
It establishes measures for those companies or entities that are prevented from carrying out their activity or in a work center due to the new restrictions or sanitary containment measures established as of October 1, 2020.
In these cases, it provides for exemptions from the business social security contributions from October to January 2021 with respect to workers who have 100% suspended their activity for companies with less than 50 workers and 90% in companies with more than 50 workers.
It also establishes a new situation, the case of companies that see the normalized development of their activity limited as a result of decisions or measures adopted by the Spanish authorities, may benefit, from the entry into force of this royal decree-law and in the affected centers , prior authorization of a temporary regulation file of employment of force majeure due to limitations, the exemption with respect to the business contribution accrued in the months of October, November, December 2020 and January 2021, will reach 100%, 90%, 85 % and 80%, respectively, when the company had less than fifty workers or assimilated to them registered with Social Security on February 29, 2020. And with more than 50 workers, the exemption from the contribution business accrued in October, November, December 2020 and January 2021, will reach 90%, 80%, 75% and 70%, respectively.
Additionally, extraordinary measures regarding unemployment protection are detailed. The amount of the unemployment benefit remains at 70% of the regulatory base until January 2021. It will continue without computing these benefits as unemployment, so that workers will continue with their accruals intact for future benefits.
Among other things, special measures are specified for self-employed workers and an extraordinary benefit for permanent discontinuous workers. This new benefit must be requested within 15 days of the publication of this standard.
This benefit will be paid for monthly periods and in the same amount as the last contributory unemployment benefit that the affected person had received or, where appropriate, the minimum amount of the contributory benefit.
Finally, the additional provision refers to the right to receive the social bonus by certain groups in a situation of economic vulnerability (minimum vital income). The objective is to help those families who are especially suffering from this serious economic situation.
This regulation gives, in Spain, a breath of fresh air to entities, companies, workers and the self-employed in order to continue to maintain employment and activity until the beginning of next year.