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And when will we have employment measures?

| COVID-19 / News | Employment Law and Social Security

Alfredo Aspra analyzes the necessary measures of temporary and exceptional character that must be taken to approach the empoyment problem generated by the incidence of the new coronavirus in an article that is published in Expansión

The uncertainty continues, which we hope and expect will not end in despair or, worse, frustration, given that the measures revealed by the government in the field of labour and social security are clearly still insufficient, if not insignificant, to even try to contain the serious consequences and effects that the Covid-19 crisis is having and, if it continues, will have on employment. Despite the drastic fall in activity that is taking place in many sectors and the total paralysis of others, for the time being the only tangible measure that has come into force as a result of RDL 6/2020, of 1 March, is the consideration of temporary incapacity (IT) derived from work related accidents exclusively for the purposes of the economic benefit of those periods of isolation or contagion of workers caused by Covid-19. However, this must always be done after a medical report from a doctor from the Social Security system has been issued.

Apart from this and the decision to reduce the social security contributions of those workers with permanent and seasonal contracts who provide services in the tourism sector, for the time being the situation with regard to labour measures that may help companies to overcome the serious situation we are suffering is conspicuous by its absence.

At this point, where the anxiety and distress is beginning to take its toll in certain sectors, and before measures are adopted that may be irreversible in terms of their effects on employment, because others that try to avoid these arrive late, it would be highly advisable that temporary and exceptional measures, as necessary as they are prudent, be taken as soon as possible, following the document of joint proposals from the trade unions CCOO and UGT and from CEOE and Cepyme to tackle the employment problems incurred by the repercussions of the new coronavirus.

Actions to be taken

Among other things: 1) to clarify the situations that, given the extraordinary reasons involved, may be used in temporary employment regulation proceedings of force majeure, as well as to simplify and speed up the procedure and documentation for their processing; 2) as the aforementioned document points out, to reduce the deadlines for implementing temporary employment regulation proceedings for productive, economic and organizational reasons and to adequately define, exceptionally and temporarily, the situations in which this figure may be used (sudden and precipitous drop in turnover or activity demand, etc.). ); 3) that the periods of unemployment consumed in both situations (force majeure and objective causes), do not prejudice the recognition of future unemployment benefits, as well as guarantee access to unemployment benefits for permanent, discontinuous workers who are affected in their employment; 4) exempt companies from the obligation to pay social security contributions, or at least substantially reduce them during the present situation; 5) to provide exceptional assistance so that workers in a situation of IT resulting from isolation or contagion receive 100% of their wages; 6) to recognise as situations of IT with similar guarantees and coverage as those resulting from isolation or contagion those relating to workers belonging to sensitive or special groups (diabetes, chronic liver disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, post-partum period of less than six weeks, cancer, etc.) 7) to provide paid leave for certain cases where the cost and social security contributions are covered by a special fund.

These measures would at least strengthen the confidence of workers and companies. They would also contribute to decision-making in many sectors that prioritises maintaining employment in the face of a situation that is as extraordinary as it is complex to manage, and whose real effects and scope have yet to be defined.

You can read the full article in Expansión.

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