Dismissals During Coronavirus


Posted and filed under General Articles of Interest, In the Spanish News, Legal Issues in Spain.


We are getting a huge amount of enquiries regarding dismissals during this stage of alarm due to Coronavirus. We can help both employers and employees depending on the issue.

Dismissals Due to Coronavirus

There are strict employment laws relating to dismissal in Spain. The law covers “force majeure”. This is when an event happens which is out of the control of the employer. Not something they could forsee or predict.

Many companies are in that situation right now due to the State of Alarm caused by coronavirus.

Companies have a possible option of using a temporary employment regulation proceeding named ERTE. This is not a dismissal but a temporary suspension.

The royal decree says that these can be used for losses of commercial activity caused by COVID 19 or coronavirus. For the company considering using this, their activity must be on the list that the government published in its last RD. This forced the closure of many of the businesses such as bars and restaurants, gyms, sports centres etc.

Only in cases of “force majeure” are companies exempt from paying 100% of the social security benefit. The company has to commit to reinstating workers’ employment after the alarm period has passed, and to continue that employment for a further six months thereafter.

Companies not in the Royal Decree

The companies not in the Royal Decree of March 14 and allowed to remain working may qualify for an ERTE due to force majeure. This would be due to “lack of business that seriously impede the continued development of the activity ”. Presumably proof that supplies cannot be delivered, service cannot be provided. Things that stop the company doing it’s usual business.

Thus if a company is thinking what they are going to do, they need to talk to their asesor and evaluate the best options. This is very important before taking any action. We cannot assist with this, because you need to speak to your existing asesor/laboral people.

Other Reasons for Using ERTE

Companies that are not affected by the Royal Decree according to its terms. So cannot use ERTE due to force majeure, since they do not meet the requirements. These companies, however, may still be able to use ERTE for economic, organizational or production reasons. In this case, they may have to pay 25% of the the contributions of their workers during the State of Alarm, whereas companies affected by force majeure may pay nothing.


Through these economic measures, approved on March 17, 2020, the worker affected by an ERTE goes into a temporary suspension of employment situation. They have the right benefits (as long as they were on a contract). Even if the worker does not meet the usual requirements
by Social Security.

Unemployment Office

This is not open to the public. Here is the link to the website .

If we can help you with anything, either as an worried employer or as a concerned employee, please contact us.

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