Emergency Economic Measures Introduced By Spanish Government.
Clearly, Spain is currently in a very extreme financial situation. The climate is changing constantly but this is the most up to date information we have to hand.
The Spanish government have said they will help people, including:-
Tax debts already in place will be able to be paid now in instalments with no added interests over six months.
People who receive heath care from their GP or the Spanish health system will get a “baja” as normal. Then payment of sick pay will be paid by the employer. Social security will in turn compensate the employer. This will be for 75% of the average salary of the worker.
Depending on the convenio that applies to the worker (type of work) some employers have to compensate the worker for the rest of the amount up to the usual salary.
There may be a suspension of mortgage payments for affected workers, but that has not been shown how this will work yet.
– Ban on cutting off water, electricity or gas of vulnerable groups during the coronavirus crisis (we have not seen details on this yet)
Greater Protection Unemployment
There will be greater protection for unemployment. The Government will allow basically dole payments for people affected by the suspension of their unemployment due to the coronavirus crisis. (Please note this is being placed on temporary dismissal through the use of the ERTE, a temporary regulation. It is not a permanent dismissal). Even if , as we said above, when they had not yet generated the right to unemployment benefit.
Some companies that apply these ERTE special conditions to their workers are exempt from paying Social Security fees. You will need to speak to your asesor or laboral person regarding your own particular company and circumstances as to whether you can use ERTE.
But it should be remembered this is a temporary measure, and obviously your staff are on temporary dismissal, so cannot be working for you from home. And when this is over, they have to be re-employed on the same terms.
How do Employees Claim Their Benefit in Spain due to Corona Virus?
Obviously there is an obligation to stay at home and the employment offices are closed. Since Monday, (March 16th 2020) the Public State Employment Service (SEPE) is closed to the public, so as with most things now it is not possible to go in person but the service is still available (with the offices closed).
Here is the link to the website https://sede.sepe.gob.es/portalSede/flows/inicio and here are telephone numbers http://www.sepe.es/HomeSepe/contacto/atencion-telefonica/tel-ciudadanos.html .
Spanish Solutions hope to offer a service, that for we can help people.We are working on the details so please let us know if we can help you.
In the case of ERTE, employers need to liaise with their laboral people/asesor in the first instance. They will need to be eligible depending on the situation of the company. There will then need to be a period of consultation with the staff about this matter, as we understand it. If there is a case of “force majeure” that can apply to the company, then the procedure in article 51.7 WS must be followed, which the asesor/labour office will deal with. Then the employer will not need to pay salary and the employee will be able to access unemployment benefits.
Please note if you are an employer to seek expert advice to help you in this difficult period. Do not feel that everyone is just dismissing their staff, this is not the case. This is not an opportunity to fire people without justification by blaming the crisis. Spanish Solutions are preparing for a number of unfair dismissal cases against employers- Please be careful.
What is Spain trying to achieve?
Spain wants people to continue to work where possible, at home, teleworking as much as possible, and those who work without contact with others (pool cleaners for example) may continue. This can only be used as an extreme emergency measure, and the staff will need to be reinstated by law, so goodwill and understanding is important. Be careful of following procedures properly, otherwise you may be liable to a dismissal claim. If you receive anything of this type (we hope not), please contact us for advice.
In terms of employees, again this is a temporary measure. You have not “lost” your job, only a temporary suspension. Spanish Solutions and others, will assist you all we can. If your employer has not done things properly using the ERTE proceeding then please contact us to explain the situation as soon as possible and we will advise on the employment issue.
Regarding “Autonomo” or the Self-Employed in Spain, we will cover this in a further article.
Stay safe and good luck to all through these difficult times.