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Work will allow companies to keep part of their ERTE in the de-escalation


The de-escalation of the confinement that begins on May 4 will allow companies and business sectors gradually recover activity, although with strong restrictions and security measures that do not guarantee full capacity operation. For this reason, the business community pressures the government to expand the Temporary Employment Regulation (ERTE) Records of force majeure which many companies and businesses have embraced in the past two months. The Ministry of Labor has published a guide this Friday in which it gives some clues about the criteria to be applied in the return to the "new normal".

Thus, in an official document of the General Directorate of Labor, it indicates that special conditions in employment can be maintained during the eight weeks during which the economy is expected to restart after the stoppage due to the pandemic. Of course, it invites companies to "facilitate the transit towards the reductions in working hours, that suppose a lower economic impact on the working person and will allow to attend to the gradually increasing supply and demand of companies' products and services ”. For this reason, he explains that "it will be possible to alter the suspensive measure initially proposed."

In short, it includes the text that "companies that were applying the measures for suspension or reduction of working hours can renounce them, in whole or in part, with respect to part or all of the workforce, and progressively as the reasons linked to force majeure disappear"

The criterion says that the concrete definition of the objective causes that make up the force majeure caused by coronaviruses, contained in the Royal Decree Law, which established the state of alarm, respond to an "external and peremptory cause whose effects and specific areas are decided at all times by the competent authorities for reasons of public health. " This, according to Work, has as a consequence that the different measures can be applied with a gradual intensity and graduation and differentiated.

Thus, this adjusted definition of a crisis scenario, "not only allows, but also makes it advisable, that the suspensions or reductions that have been adopted in accordance with a greater rigor in the requirement of confinement are no longer applied and are modified in its scope according to the own evaluation of the health emergency situation, the forecasts for de-escalation and the factors to which it responds ".

In this sense, Work affirms that the interruption of non-essential activities decreed by the Government from March 30 to April 9 is taken as a precedent for the above, and in which many companies were forced to request employment regulation files due to temporary force majeure to guarantee the extension of confinement and the restriction of movements.

"The documentary and procedural requirements must be essential," he points out, after stressing that it will suffice to notify the labor authority of the waiver of the authorized or communicated measure, in the face of a full recovery of the activity, and to transfer it to the entity managing the benefits. the situation of affection and disaffection of each of the workers. In fact, it highlights that ERTE guarantees a "non-traumatic" transit towards future normality in which conjunctural measures are no longer necessary.

In summary, the criterion says that all the normality adopted by the coronavirus, whose pillar or fundamental axis is constituted by internal adjustment measures of companies, "aims to maintain employment and protect workers, and to make flexible and streamlined the mechanisms that they are essential to achieve it. "


This reduction in degree and pace is in line with the progress made by the third vice president of the Government and minister of Economic Affairs and for Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, who has reiterated that the Government is working with social agents to see how the de-escalation plan is matched with the ERTEs. "It is a complex process, because we have to encourage the recovery of economic activity and encourage the reinstatement of workers," he said.

At the press conference that he has offered with the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, to give an account of the Stability Plan sent to Brussels, the vice president recalled that the regulation of ERTEs of force majeure approved in the health crisis involves a significant effort by the public sector to save jobs, as it exempts companies that take advantage of these procedures from contributions. "It is an effort by taxpayers (…) and we want to succeed so that this effort allows us to keep pace with the de-escalation," he explained.

For her part, the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, who pointed out that the temporary employment regulation files (ERTEs) they are going to continue, but "you have to determine to what degree and with what rhythm". The head of the Ministry has added that the ERTEs have been a "very effective" measure, so "it would not make sense for it to be dropped now", she sent a message of reassurance and stated that the protection mechanisms for workers and companies launched by the coronavarius will not disappear.

These measures are a first response to the claims on these files. According to the Government, there are more than 4 million employees at ERTE, an avalanche of payrolls that, if it had to be incorporated at full capacity in the coming weeks, could end up dynamiting the productive fabric of the country. For this reason, the CEOE and the tourism, hospitality or trade associations have been pressing for days for the Executive to extend them. In various statements, employers and businessmen have asked adjustments and extensions that prevent workers from going out of work instead of returning to their jobs.

Specifically, the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, He emphasized this week in small businesses, they will be able to raise the blind even if the de-escalation allows it because it will not be profitable. The National Federation of Self-Employed Workers Associations (ATA) considers that, in order to meet the expected figures, it is "essential" that ERTEs stay until after summer or until the end of the year for the sectors with a slower recovery.

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