The Extension of labour measures against COVID-19 came into force on 28 March 2020. RDL 9/2020 publishes the latest measures approved by virtue of which complementary measures are adopted, in the field of company employment, to alleviate the effects of COVID-19.
Our Labour Consulting team summarises these measures below.
Extension of labour measures against COVID-19 and its impact
Employment protection measures
- The termination of the employment contract based on force majeure, or economic, technical, organizational and production causes is prohibited. That are motivated by the health crisis caused by COVID-19. In any case, the regulation does not clarify whether the dismissal will be declared null and void or unjustified.
- Employees affected by a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) derived from COVID-19 and with a temporary contract, including training, relief and temporary contracts, will have their duration interrupted. It is understood that once the suspension is over, they will start counting again from “0”, since it does not speak of suspension. In this case, the contract will be extended for the period of time affected by the suspension.
These measures, which came into force on March 28th , should not affect either dismissals or the termination of temporary contracts that had expired prior to the date of publication of this regulation.
Limitation of the duration of force majeure TERF based on COVID-19.
The duration may not extend beyond the period of the alarm state decreed by R.D.463/2020, of March 14. The duration cannot be extended beyond the period of the state of alarm decreed by R.D.463/2020, of 14 March, which declared the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19 and its possible extensions.
This limitation will be applicable both to those files for which an express resolution has been issued and to those which are applicable due to administrative silence. Regardless of the content of the business application.
Facilitating the processing and payment of unemployment benefits
Companies that have processed ERTE due to force majeure or ERTE ETOP (economic, technical, organisational or production causes), must file a collective application with the unemployment benefits management body. On behalf of their employees, with their express authorisation, by electronic means.
Likewise, the company is obliged to notify any variation in the data initially contained in the communication. And in any case when they refer to the termination of the application of the measure.
The communication must be sent by the company within 5 days from the request of the ERTE due to force majeure. Or from the date on which the company notifies the competent labour authority of its decision in the case of ERTE ETOP.
In the case of ERTE due to force majeure requested prior to the entry into force of this RDL, the 5-day period will begin to run on 28 March 2020. Therefore, on April 3, the collective application must be communicated to the management entity.
Failure to notify the collective application for unemployment benefits under the terms of this regulation will be considered a serious offence. Provided in article 22.13 of the TR LISO. And the amount of which may range from 626€ to 6,250€, depending on its graduation.
Will also be punishable:
- Applications containing false or incorrect information.
- Requests for measures that were not necessary or had insufficient connection with the cause that gave rise to them. And which give rise to the generation or receipt of undue benefits.
The files processed by ERTE force majeure may be reviewed ex officio. And when fraud or access to undue benefits is detected, the company must pay to the managing entity the amounts received by the workers. Deducting them from the salaries not received that would have corresponded, with the limit of the sum of such salaries. The right to exemption from social security contributions will be automatically lost. All these contributions must be reimbursed to the Social Security.
All of the above shall apply, without prejudice to the administrative or criminal liability which may correspond by law.
Extraordinary measure applicable to cooperative societies
When the General Assembly cannot be convened by virtual means, the Governing Council will assume the competence to approve the total or partial suspension of the work of its members. In accordance with the provisions of RDL-8/2020.