The Government has committed to Brussels to have the new post-covid ertes system negotiated and approved this year . This is stated in the files of the Recovery and Resilience Plan made public this Wednesday by Moncloa , which, however, do not clarify whether this new format will already come into force in the final stretch of this year or will do so from January 1 of 2022.
Although in the document made public last week, it planned to extend the current covid ertes “until the end of 2021”, and then give way to the new scheme.
The rest of the main policies included in component 23 of the Plan, the one referring to the labor field and drawn up by the Ministry of Labor, are the partial repeal of the labor reform of the PP , which will already be in force before the end of this year, and changes in the unemployment benefit system , which leaves it for 2022.
This Thursday the Government and the social agents will again sit down to negotiate an extension of the covid ertes, which expire on May 31 and which currently cover almost 640,000 workers .
However, the Executive has in mind to move from this exceptional model for the health emergency to a stable and consolidated one in the Workers’ Statute. His idea is to make this new format an alternative to layoffs and try to minimize the destruction of employment when the economy contracts or goes into crisis.
And for this he will create two types of erte. One for those companies with a temporary loss of activity , but whose business model is not at risk, and another for those companies that need to restructure because their market has changed and they must reorient their operations .
The details of these two models and the scope that they will still have is something that the Government will have to negotiate with employers and unions, as recognized in its Recovery Plan.
However, this negotiation will begin and end in 2021, since the commitment expressed before Brussels is that the modification of article 47 of the Workers’ Statute will already be in the BOE before the end of the year. This is not incompatible with the introduction of a transition period that could delay its entry into force until 2022.
Sources consulted from the Ministry of Labor do not detail if the extension of the covid ertes that will begin to negotiate on Thursday with the social agents will be the last or there will still be another one until the definitive transition to the postcovid ertes scheme.
The piggy bank of the ertes
The new ertes scheme will maintain public aid to guarantee unemployment benefits to affected workers and exempt companies that maintain contracts from labor costs. The COVID exemptions currently in force range from 70% to 100% and the new amounts are not detailed in the Moncloa documents.
In the German model of ‘ Kurzarbeit ‘, commonly cited in Spain as a reference, companies can reduce the working hours of their employees, while the State takes care of between 60% and 87% of the worker’s salary.
The Government has advanced to Brussels how it intends to finance this new mechanism and it will be through a kind of piggy bank . “It is necessary to create a permanent financing instrument, which must be financed with contributions from companies, workers and the State, which provides the necessary resources for the remuneration and training of workers, especially in serious recessionary phases that may occur in the future. “, reads the detail of reform six of component 23.
As is customary throughout the Recovery Plan, the specific details of the measures are conspicuous by their absence. How much should each of the actors contribute to this fund? It does not appear in the document. Yes, the good times will be used to accumulate the surplus of the contributions for unemployment – currently 7.05% – to fill up that piggy bank and spend it later during times of crisis.
If the piggy bank is empty, it will be the Executive who makes the difference. What the Government does not specify is whether it plans to raise that 7.05% contribution to pay for the new system.
And for those transitioning to a new business model, the Government intends to create a mixed fund to pay for workers’ requalification courses. The companies in the sector in crisis will put part of the money and the State another part and with these resources they will pay for the training of the affected workers, with the aim of either relocating them in other sectors, or keeping them in the company to meet their new needs .
The social agents must also negotiate with the State other nuances of this new model, such as whether the companies that benefit from the aid may or may not undertake layoffs . Going back to the German model, they can’t there.
Reform of unemployment and hiring incentives by 2022
The tight legislative agenda that the Government has committed to labor matters will leave some matters for 2022. An investment of 100 million euros for the social economy is one of them, although there are two of special depth that should also wait: the reform of the unemployment benefits and hiring incentives.
One of the purposes of the third vice president, Yolanda Díaz , is to unify the range of subsidies for the unemployed who have exhausted or are not entitled to it into one. This will start from 80% of the Iprem, which would currently place the amount at 451.9 euros .
And its duration will depend on different variables, such as age, family situation or the time that the person has been unemployed. It will be accessible to those people who prove more than six and less than twelve months of contributions. This reform must wait until 2022.
And another of the far-reaching reforms that will also be the subject of the next academic year will be the reform of incentives for companies to hire. The amount that these funds move is not less and in 2018 amounted to 2,000 million euros.
The trade show has chided the government for excessively disperse these amounts and recommends focus them a few groups, but very vulnerable. There the list is made up of young people, women, the elderly, and migrants.
The amounts and conditions for each company that offers indefinite contracts to these vulnerable groups will be something that the Ministry of Labor will have to negotiate with the social agents as of next year.