March 27, 2020
– The Council of Ministers has approved a Royal Decree-Law on Complementary Measures relating to the Labour sector to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 health crisis.
The new measures outline specify and reinforce the application and control the mechanisms of the measures put in place through Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 of March 17. The objective is to provide better coverage and establish specific measures for some sectors. It is also intended to streamline public procurement during the health crisis.
Dismissal for reasons related to the Covid-19 emergency will not be considered justified given the flexibility of the measures that are specified in the previous Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, which gives companies the flexibility to temporarily suspend contracts or to reduce employees working hours, therefor obviating the need to resort to dismissal.
Processing and control of ERTE (Temporary suspension of contracts during the state of Emergency)
The royal decree-law approved by the Executive details the recognition procedure for unemployment contribution in a situation that is expected to be limited and limited in time. It specifies what the documentation should be and how the employer must communicate with the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) so that the benefit can be recognized as soon as possible. Likewise, it is established that the start date of the unemployment benefit will be that of the moment in which the suspension has occurred due to force majeure or the date in which the company communicates its decision to the authority, thus guaranteeing the receipt from the moment when the lack of activity occurs. The resolution period for administrative silence of the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) has been compared to that of express resolution. Control mechanisms will be implemented so that companies whose requests contain false or incorrect data are sanctioned in accordance with current regulations to avoid the use fraudulent public funds
. The Labor and Social Security Inspectorate will include among its action plans the verification of the causes given for the ERTE. It is also established that, in the event of requests with falsehoods and inaccuracies, including the lack of cause or the lack of need for the ERTE, the company may be sanctioned and must return to the managing entity the amounts received as benefits.
Guarantee essential services
The new measures approved by the Government foresee that health and care centers for the elderly or dependents maintain their activity regardless of their management model. In this way, those hospitals, outpatient clinics, day or senior centers, publicly owned, private residences or whatever their management regime may be determined by the Ministry of Health or the Vice Presidency for Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda will not be able to process Temporary Employment Regulation (ERTE) suspensions
The time in which the company’s activity is interrupted due to the Covid-19 health crisis will not be counted in the computation of a temporary contract. Thus, it is guaranteed that temporary contracts (such as relief, training or interim contracts) can reach their maximum effective duration. This also guarantees the ability of companies to organize their resources.
Cooperative entities are encouraged to use mechanisms of flexibility in employment to cope with the effects of the health emergency. In the event that cooperatives cannot convene their general assembly through telematic means to avail themselves of the suspension of employment formulas at their disposal, the governing council of the same is empowered to suspend the contracts in whole or in part according to the provisions of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 of March 17.
Public procurement will be facilitated to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be processed through the emergency procedure. The new law also includes measures to speed up contracting from the outside