Only 10 days have passed since the Government dealt with the economic consequences of the health alert with a battery of measures whose core was the facility for companies to suspend employment and a benefits shield that guaranteed a minimum income for workers. . But in this time reality has overwhelmed the forecasts. The Government yesterday approved a historic intervention in the labor market to try to block the huge wave of layoffs and job suspensions that in just 10 days has brought the paralysis of the economy due to the coronavirus. Starting today, the pandemic and its consequences will not be a reason to fire company workers. Those who have temporary contracts will see the termination period extended and, in addition, Labor will review all demands for employment regulation approved in search of fraud that, if found, will be punished with the obligatory return of contributions and benefits paid. Preamble to the Royal Decree Law on Complementary Measures, the Government assures that it seeks “to minimize the risk of an uncontrolled and irreversible impact of the extraordinary emergency situation that follows from the state of health alert caused by COVID-19, both in economic activity and in the maintenance and safeguarding of employment ». It gives the impression that the companies’ reaction to the decree of March 17, which facilitated the execution of Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) has overwhelmed the Administration. The number of people who have been able to go into unemployment (whether or not the Ministry of Labor has discharged them) is around the two million in just eight days. “It is a challenge in logistical and management terms that has never been seen. It is the result of not understanding what was going to happen with the previous decree and I understand that prohibiting is dangerous, because when this situation happens there will be many layoffs,” he explains. David Diaz, Labor partner of the Baker & McKenzie firm. According to Diaz, companies must now apply ERTEs and provision at least six months of payroll if they do not want to expose themselves to sanctions.For his part Inigo Sagardoy, President of Sagardoy Abogados, stresses that the intention to preserve government jobs is positive, although it risks losing its balance. “If there are many limitations, companies (especially SMEs) may be faced with more drastic measures (such as closings). It is not easy to find that balance ». The president of one of the labor offices that is advising the most clients in this crisis, values the extension of temporary contracts as “very positive” Because it makes it easier for companies to maintain that temporary employment that, in other circumstances (as happened in the 2008 crisis) would have been massively extinguished. At the other extreme, Sagardoy points to the mistrust that is transmitted to companies with more inspections and warnings of harsh penalties for fraud. “Many companies are on the brink of the abyss. And perhaps more powerful measures for the self-employed are still lacking, “he concludes.The size of the hole created by coronavirus in a job market that from today it is intervened by the State, will be seen next week. Whether the blocking of layoffs “guarantees” the protection of workers, restoration and recovery of economic activity, as the decree justifies, remains to be seen. The businessmen ruled it out yesterday in an assessment that breaks the valuable unity between the Government and social agents demonstrated since the beginning of this crisis. It will prevent «lay the foundations for the necessary economic recovery in Spain and will achieve the opposite effect and produce a higher level of unemployment, “said CEOE and Cepyme. The self-employed workers have also not been attended to their request that their obligations to pay the Social Security quota for the month of March be canceled. The Government, through theto Minister of Labor, Yolanda DiazThus, it has included the petition publicly launched on Thursday by the UGT and CCOO unions, demanding more protection for workers affected by the massive employment regulations and for those who had been left out of the scheme. The labor consequences of the decree of the state of alarm and the paralysis of the economy are overflowing the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) that works to the limit of its capabilities to meet the avalanche of requests for Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTEs) launched by companies and the dismissal of workers.In addition, the SEPE had already limited this week in an internal instruction the maximum amounts that workers receiving ERTEs can receive . To guarantee that the largest number of files can be processed, As of today, the maximum benefit limit will be 1,098 for all workers, regardless of their family situation. The minimum, according to the decree approved yesterday will be 428 euros and all those approved this month will be paid on April 10. Ordinarily, benefits take into account if the recipient has children and if he is a large family. These families must claim their accessories, which will be paid later.
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