Covid measures have cost the Social Security 13 billion euros so far

2020/10/07 17:39:30 Written by Canarian Weekly Business

So far measures adopted to face the impact of Covid-19 on the labour market, have cost the department of Social Security 12.92 billion euros up until September, as detailed today (Wednesday) by the Minister of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, during his appearance in Congress.

Escrivá broke down the cost of the measures, i.e. benefits for the self-employed, exoneration of the self-employed, exemptions of the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE), and temporary disability, during each month from March to September during the coronavirus pandemic.

In detail, the largest item corresponds to the exemptions of the social security contributions of companies to Social Security by ERTE with 5.2 billion euros in total: 513 million in March, 1.23 billion in April, 1.05 billion in May, 823 million in June, 660 million in July, 485 million in August and 452 million in September.

The second largest item is the benefit for the self-employed with 4.14 billion, which also peaked in May and June with more than 1.1 billion and since then has dropped to 126 million in September. To these items, 2.2 billion are added for the exemptions of self-employed contributions and 1.37 billion for temporary disabilities or leave.

A couple of weeks ago, Escrivá said that the cost to the public coffers of the aid associated with the ERTE and the protection of the self-employed, amounted to almost 22 billion euros until September, a figure that included, in addition to the impact on Social Security, the cost of benefits charged by workers which corresponds to the SEPE, ie unemployment benefits, dependent on the Ministry of Labour.

Today Escrivá highlighted the role played by these protection mechanisms in the Spanish labour market during this crisis, and has valued the pace of reactivation that, he said, is surprising in other countries.

Escrivá gave details saying that there are now only 495,000 workers in total ERTE, and 170,000 in partial ERTE, of the 3.4 million who were covered at the beginning of the state of alarm; and there are 150,000 freelancers receiving a benefit associated with Covid, which is only 10% of the original 1.5 million that were.

Regarding unemployment, he added, that there are 420,000 of the 950,000 people who increased the unemployment lists during the worst period of this crisis, and currently with the new outbreaks there are 150,000 on sick leave compared to the 250,000 that were at that time.

In total, of the more than 6 million protected workers, which is 30% of the total employed population; 4.7 million are already fully reincorporated back in to their jobs.

"Four out of every five workers (80%) have been reinstated," announced Escrivá, who supports the valuable role played by the ERTE and said that there is the need for these tools to become something permanent in the Spanish labour market.