Government, unions and businessmen are holding a new meeting on Wednesday to try to close an agreement with which to extend the temporary employment regulation (ERTE) files associated with the Covid crisis until September 30.
Both the Ministry of Labor and the CCOO believe that the agreement is already "very close" and that today it will be possible to close it to take it, possibly this Friday, to an extraordinary Council of Ministers. For their part, the UGT and CEOE are waiting for some pending points to be finalized, such as the exoneration of contributions that companies in ERTE will be able to enjoy, both due to force majeure and due to objective causes, a matter that in the draft Government transferred yesterday morning did not specify.
In said draft the Executive proposes to prohibit companies in ERTE, whether due to force majeure or for objective reasons, the realization of overtime, the establishment or resumption of outsourcing of the activity and the conclusion of new contracts, whether mere directly or through a temporary employment agency (ETT).
Although this prohibition already appeared in its previous proposal, the Executive needs it to a greater extent, including outsourcing, the mention of ETTs and an exception: companies in ERTE will only be able to hire or outsource tasks if the workers in their workplace do not they may, for education, training and "other objective or justified reasons", perform the functions entrusted to the employee being hired or to outsourcing. For this, the company must previously inform the legal representatives of the workers.
This prohibition, which will last as long as the ERTE is in force, would apply to both force majeure ERTEs and ERTEs for objective reasons (economic, organizational and production techniques) and punishable in the event of non-compliance.
The draft of the decree, to which Europa Press has had access and which could undergo modifications to obtain the agreement of unions and employers, establishes that from the entry into force of the same, only the ERTE of force majeure requested prior to said agreement will be applicable. date and, at most, until September 30.
For their part, ERTEs based on objective causes that begin after the entry into force of this standard will have the same filing deadlines as those set in mid-March and will be allowed to start processing while an ERTE of Force Majeure.
One of the novelties is that the ERTE for objective causes will be subject to the same scheme of exemptions from corporate quotas as the ERTE of force majeure and in the same percentages, still to be determined. However, sources of the negotiation have indicated that the percentages that the government considered last Monday were, in companies with more than 50 workers, 30% for employees who remained in the ERTE and 45% for those who returned to activity and, in companies with less than 50 workers, 40% for those who are in the ERTE and 65% for those who return to their activity.
ERTEs with objective causes would thus have exemptions from quotas, previously only applicable to ERTEs of force majeure. The goal is to ease the transition from seconds to first now that the alarm state has ended. Thus, according to the Executive draft, the companies and entities affected by ERTE of force majeure must proceed to reinstate the workers, prioritizing the adjustments in terms of shorter hours.
EMPLOYMENT COMMITMENT ALSO FOR ERTE FOR OBJECTIVE CAUSES
Another novelty of the Government's proposal is that it extends to ERTEs for objective reasons the prohibition to use this procedure if the company is domiciled in a tax haven. Neither will it be able to distribute the dividends corresponding to the fiscal year in which the ERTE is applied, unless the company in question previously pays the amount of the exonerations enjoyed (these measures previously applied only to ERTEs of force majeure). The limitation on the distribution of dividends will not apply to companies that, as of February 29 of this year, had less than 50 employees.
At the same time, the Executive is proposing to extend the six-month job maintenance commitment to companies that carry out ERTE for objective reasons. For companies that benefit for the first time from the exonerations of contributions associated with these ERTEs, the six-month period in which they will be obliged to maintain employment will be computed as of this decree comes into force.
The draft maintains until September 30 the "prohibition" that the government established to dismissal for objective reasons, which in practice means increasing the compensation to 33 days per year worked, compared to 20 of the resulting dismissals.
At the same time, the Executive proposes to also maintain until September 30 the suspension of temporary contracts, including formative, relief and interim contracts, which de facto means extending these contracts even if the employer wanted to terminate them.
The text contemplates that the unemployment benefits associated with the ERTE (which are granted without the need to meet the grace period and which imply 'counter to zero') will remain until September 30, except for those of discontinuous fixed, which are will last until December 31.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS NEGOTIATION TO OPEN
In the draft decree, the Government has not included the extension until September 30 of the 'Plan Mecuida', which did appear in its previous proposal. This plan allows employed workers to accredit care duties with respect to the spouse or common-law partner, as well as with relatives of up to second degree of consanguinity will have the right to adapt their working hours and / or reduce it when exceptional circumstances related to actions necessary to prevent community transmission of Covid-19.
What the Government has left in the text in its proposal to establish a negotiating table with the social partners with the aim of reaching an agreement that incorporates measures aimed at recovering the level of employment prior to the crisis resulting from the Covid-19 .
Likewise, a new provision has been included to open, "as soon as possible", a dialogue between the Government and social partners to address issues related to the recognized unemployment benefit in the ERTE derived from the coronavirus to people with various part-time contracts , as well as to study possible solutions for the consumption, during the state of alarm, of the benefits and unemployment benefits of workers not affected by ERTE.
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