ERTE: Ministry of Labour wants to extend ban of objective dismissal of workers until 2021
The Government has said they want to extend the veto of objective dismissal for causes related to Covid-19 until December 31st of this year, as contained in a draft proposal presented by the Ministry of Labour to social agents in the negotiation to extend the ERTE beyond September 30th.
According to the document, Article 2 of Royal Decree-Law 9/2020, of March 27th, will remain in force until December 31st 2020, with which the Government established that causes related to the pandemic could not be "understood as justification for the termination of an employment contract or dismissal."
This meant vetoing the objective dismissals, with 20 days of severance pay per year worked, covered by Covid-19, and in practice, making them more expensive since they would be considered inappropriate with greater severance pay of 33 days per year.
The draft also includes the extension, until December 31st, of other measures approved in these months such as the interruption of the computation of the maximum duration of temporary contracts, affected by Covid or PlanMecuida, which gives the right to adaptation and/or reduction of working hours, with the consequent salary reduction, for the care of minors.
Regarding the ERTEs, the Government also proposes an extension until December 31st and, in those cases of force majeure, confine them to companies of a series of economic activities, which are yet to be determined, as well as companies from other sectors that are dependent upon the first.
Thus, to be considered as a company "especially affected by the pandemic", and to continue with an ERTE of force majeure without belonging to the sectors that are set in the final text, it must be able to show that they have done less than 50% of what they declared in 2019.
The text does not yet go into detailing the new bonus schemes that these ERTEs will have, nor those of the so-called ETOPs, to which companies can travel from force majeure if necessary, nor the regrowth schemes that are left open to companies of any activity.
Nor has the percentage on the regulatory base that the benefits of workers affected by an ERTE from the sixth month will maintain, been set yet.
The government, employers representatives, and unions will meet again tomorrow to continue negotiating in search of an agreement on the conditions under which the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) will be extended beyond September 30th.
Currently, just under 800,000 workers remain in ERTE, which means that more than three-quarters of the workers who were included in a file (over 2.5 million) have left it, the vast majority to return to their jobs.