On January 31, the current extension of the ERTE. With the intention of extending these files, the Government and social agents are immersed in intense negotiations. In fact, negotiations to extend the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) at least until May 31 enter a key week. The Government wants to avoid that, as on other occasions, the agreement is produced ‘in extremis’ and has put on the table a new proposal with which it hopes to achieve a yes from the parties.
After several meetings last week in which a final agreement was not reached but important progress was made, according to the sources consulted, the new government text aims to speed up the ERTE processing, but it does not imply substantial changes with respect to the current regulation, which expires on January 31.
Pitfalls in negotiations
The main obstacle to closing the agreement is the commitment to maintain the job for six months to which companies that take advantage of a ERTE. If this commitment is breached, the companies have to return all the aid received in waivers of fees.
Business organizations, CEOE and Cepyme, demand changes in the formulation of this commitment due to solvency problems that companies now present and which, they argue, will prevent them from keeping all personnel on the payroll.
Thus, what they propose is that, if this commitment is breached, the companies return the aid received by each ERTE worker let him be fired, but not by the entire staff that was included in this procedure.
This demand has been rejected outright by the Government and by the unions, who understand that the public resources that are used to sustain the reductions of employer quotas in the ERTE have to have a ‘consideration’: that companies do not fire.
From the Executive, both the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, and the Third Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño, have made it clear that ERTE money will not be used to lay off. «Nobody doubts for a second that obviously the very important public support for the financing of all the bonuses of contributions to the Safety and benefits that are paid to the workers covered by ERTE cannot ultimately serve for dismissal processes later “Calviño asserted last Friday.
Thus, the Government’s proposal to extend ERTE maintains the commitment of job maintenance, as well as the current ERTE scheme, as announced by the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, a few days ago. Likewise, the prohibition of firing companies, that of distributing dividends and that of working overtime. In addition, workers affected by ERTE They will continue to have access to the benefit without a grace period, the period consumed will not be computed until January 2022 and the benefit will be equal to 70% of the regulatory base.
Workers at ERTE in Spain
According to the latest data from Social Security, at the end of December, more than 755,610 workers were in ERTE, although at the high peak of the pandemic the protected workers reached more than 3.4 million.