The extraordinary labour measures against the impact of COVID-19 derived from RDL-8/2020, are aimed at a triple objective according to the Government
- Strengthening the protection of workers, families and vulnerable groups
- To support the continuity of productive activity and the maintenance of employment, and
- Reinforce the fight against the disease.
Extraordinary labour measures against the impact of COVID-19
The experts of our Labour Consultancy summarize them below.
Preferential nature of distance working.
Exceptionally, and with the priority objective of ensuring that business activity and working relations resume normally after the exceptional health situation. Organisational systems must be established to enable distance working. The company should take appropriate measures if this is technically and reasonably possible and if the necessary adaptation effort is proportionate.
In the area of Labour Risk Prevention, the evaluation of the working environment shall be considered to be fulfilled on an exceptional basis. The accepted formula is through a self-evaluation carried out voluntarily by the worker himself.
Right to adapt the timetable and reduce the working day
Aimed at workers who can prove that they have a duty of care towards their spouse or partner. As well as for family members by blood up to the second degree, when there are exceptional circumstances related to the actions necessary to avoid the community transmission of the COVID-19. In addition:
- The presence of the worker is necessary for the care of any of the related persons who, for reasons of age, illness or disability, need personal and direct care as a direct consequence of the COVID-19.
- In the case of care of minors, as a result of the closure of educational centres. Or of any other nature that provides care or attention to the person in need of the same.
- When the person who until now had been responsible for the direct care or assistance of a spouse or relative up to the second degree, could no longer do so for justified reasons related to the COVID-19.
The adaptation of hours and reduction of working hours must be justified, reasonable and proportionate in relation to the situation of the company. Particularly in the case of several workers accessing it in the same company. The company and the worker must do their utmost to reach an agreement.
The company must be informed 24 hours in advance of any special reduction in working hours (which implies a proportional reduction in wages). And it may reach 100% of the working day if necessary. This does not imply any change in the nature of the rights and guarantees established in the legislation for the situation foreseen in article 37.6 of the E.T. (Workers Statute)
Measures to support the continuity of the productive activity and the maintenance of employment. ERTE
Procedures for the suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours due to force majeure
Suspensions of contract and reductions in working hours shall be considered as force majeure. Provided that they are directly caused by losses of activity as a result of COVID-19. Including the declaration of the Alarm Status. In addition, when they bring:
- Suspension or cancellation of activities
- Temporary closure of public venues
- Restrictions on public transport and, in general, on the mobility of persons and/or goods
- Lack of supplies that seriously impede the continuation of the regular development of the activity
- Urgent and extraordinary situations due to staff contagion or the adoption of preventive isolation measures decreed by the health authority, which are duly accredited
The procedure that you can consult in this entry is initiated by a request addressed to the labour authority. Accompanied by a report on the cause or reason for the cessation of the activity and other documentation proving the situation. Simultaneously, the workers must be informed, and if there is workers’ representation, the file must be transferred to them.
As an accompanying measure, with regard to contributions in connection with procedures for the suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours due to force majeure, companies will be fully exonerated from payment of the business contribution for the duration of the suspension period. Except for those companies with 50 or more employees as of February 29, in which case the exemption will be 75% of the employer’s contribution.
The purpose of this measure is to safeguard employment, since the employer undertakes to maintain employment for a period of six months once business activity has resumed.
Exceptional measures in relation to the procedures of suspension and reduction of working hours for economic, technical, organisational and production reasons.
Time limits are reduced in the case of procedures for the suspension of contracts or reduction of working hours for economic, technical, organisational and production reasons related to the COVID-19. With respect to the procedure set out in the regulations governing these cases:
- Deadlines for the creation of the representative commission are shortened and it must be constituted within a non-renewable period of 5 days (when there are no RLTs).
- The period of consultation between the company and the workers’ representative or the representative commission must not exceed the maximum period of seven days.
- The report of the Labour and Social Security Inspectorate, whose request will be optional for the labour authority, will be issued within the non-renewable period of seven days.
Extraordinary measures in the field of unemployment protection in application of the procedures for the regulation of employment
All the workers concerned will be entitled to unemployment benefit. Even if they do not have the minimum period of contributory employment to qualify for it. Or have a previous right to unemployment benefit or subsidy suspended.
The period that the worker agrees to receive the unemployment benefit will not count as a period of benefit consumed for this purpose.
The presentation of requests for initial registration or resumption of the benefit and the unemployment subsidy made outside the legally established periods does not imply that the duration of the right to the corresponding benefit is reduced. During the period of validity of the Health Alarm State.
Extraordinary measures relating to the extension of the unemployment benefit and annual declaration of income during the period of validity of the extraordinary measures
The managing agency is authorized to automatically extend entitlement to unemployment benefit in cases where the entitlement is extended by six months. That the absence of a request from the worker shall not result in the interruption of receipt or in a reduction in its duration.
The payment of the benefit and the social security contribution will not be interrupted even if the required annual income tax return is submitted after the legal deadline.
Extraordinary benefit on cessation of activity (for self-employed persons)
They may be entitled to receive the benefit intended for the cessation of activity, with validity limited to one month as from 14 March. Or until the last day of the month in which the alarm condition ends (if this is extended). Self-employed persons whose activities have been suspended or who can prove that their turnover in the month prior to the month in which they apply for the benefit is reduced by at least 75% in relation to the average turnover for the previous six-month period. Requirements:
- To be affiliated and registered at the time of the declaration of the alarm status
- The beneficiaries will have to be up to date with social security payments. Or those who have a debt must pay it within 30 days, which cannot be extended.
- Accreditation of the reduction of the invoicing in at least 75% in relation to the average of invoicing of the previous semester. In activities that have not been compulsorily suspended by regulations.
The amount of the benefit will be 70% of the regulatory base, except when the minimum contribution period for entitlement to the benefit is not accredited. In this case the amount of the benefit will be equivalent to 70% of the minimum contribution base for the Special Social Security Scheme for self-employed workers. This benefit will be incompatible with any other benefit under the Social Security system.
The time of receipt will be considered as contribution time and will not reduce the benefit periods that the beneficiary may be entitled to in the future due to cessation of activity.
The aforementioned measures will be in force on a temporary basis, initially for a period of one month, which may be extended depending on the evaluation of the situation by the Government.