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Royal-Decree Law 18/2020 Of 12 May, on social measures to defend employment.

Published on: 13/05/2020

The Royal Decree-Law sets out a series of measures that increase the protection of jobs already initiated in the previous Royal Decree-Law, which have been approved since the beginning of the incident of the COVID 19 health crisis.

ERTE

  1. It extends the force majeure Records of Temporary Employment Regulation (ERTE) until 30 June 2020 for companies that cannot resume their activity due to force majeure. 
  2. Companies that can partially recover their activity may proceed to incorporate workers affected by ERTE, giving priority to the reduction of working hours. 
  3. Companies must notify the labour authority of the total renunciation, where applicable, to the ERTE within fifteen days and to the SEPE of the variations in the data of workers included in these files. 
  4. The sixth additional Provision of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, is amended, guaranteeing the commitment of maintaining employment, by the companies, within six months of the date of resumption of their activity, understood as the return to effective work of the people affected by the file, even if it is partial or only affects part of the workforce. 
  5. Companies and entities that have their tax residence in tax havens will not be eligible for the extension of the force majeure ERTEs. 
  6. Companies and organisations that take advantage of the profits derived from the extension of the force majeure ERTEs may not proceed to the distribution of dividends during the fiscal year corresponding to the application of the ERTE, except if they return the part corresponding to the exemption applied to Social Security contributions.

Exemption from Social Security contributions

  1. The exemption from Social Security contributions is maintained for companies that continue to hold full force majeure ERTEs, an exemption that will be 75% for companies with 50 or more employees. 
  1. For companies that implement a partial force majeure ERTE, different tranches are established:
    • For workers who resume their activity, the exemption will be 85% in May and 70% in June (companies with less than 50 workers on 29 February 2020).
    • In companies with 50 or more workers, the exemption will be 60% in May and 45% in June.
    • With respect to workers that continue with their suspended activities, in an ERTE with partial force majeure, the exemption from Social Security contributions will be 60% in May and 45% in June (companies with less than 50 employees) and 45% in May and 30% in June (companies with 50 or more employees).

Tripartite committee on labour monitoring

A Tripartite Committee on Labour Monitoring for the de-escalation process is created, which will be formed of persons designated for this purpose by the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, CEOE, CEPYME, and the most representative trade union organisations, CC.O.C. and UGT.


Amendment to Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, on extraordinary urgent measures to deal with the economic and social impact of COVID-19

article 24.1:

 «1. In the cases of suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours authorised on the basis of temporary force majeure linked to COVID-19 defined in article 22, the General Social Security Treasury (TGSS) shall exempt the company from the payment of the corporate contribution provided for in article 273.2 of the consolidated text of the General Law on Social Security, approved by Legislative Royal Decree 8/2015, of 30 October, as well as that relating to joint quotas, during the months of March and April 2020, when, on 29 February 2020, it had less than 50 workers, including those assimilated to the registration, registered with the Social Security Institute. If the company had 50 or more workers, including those assimilated to the registration, registered with the Social Security Institute, the exemption from the obligation to contribute will be 75% of the corporate contribution."

 

article 24.5 (new section)

 «5. The exonerations regulated in this article will be covered by the budgets of the Social Security in the case of the corporate contribution for common contingencies, of the collaborating mutual societies in the case of the business contribution for professional contingencies, of the Public State Employment Service in the case of the corporate contribution for unemployment and for vocational training and of the Wages Guarantee Fund in the case of contributions that finance its benefits."

 

Sixth additional provision. Safeguarding employment.

 «1. The extraordinary employement related measures provided for in article 22 of this Royal Drecree-Law will be subject to the commitment by the companies of maintaining employment within six months of the date of resumption of their activity, understood as the return to effective work of the people affected by the file, even if it is partial or only affects part of the workforce.

This commitment shall be deemed to have been breached if the contracts of any of the persons affected by these files are terminated.

This commitment shall not be considered to have been breached when the employment contract is terminated due to disciplinary dismissal declared appropriate, resignation, death, retirement or permanent, total or absolute Incapacity or invalidity of the working person, nor for the purpose of the appeal of the persons with a fixed or discontinued contract, when this does not involve a dismissal but an interruption of the same. In particular, in the case of temporary contracts, the commitment to maintain employment shall not be considered to be breached when the contract expires due to the expiration of the agreed time or the performance of the work or service that constitutes its object or when the activity subject of the contract cannot be carried out immediately.

This commitment to maintaining employment will be assessed in view of the specific characteristics of the different sectors and the applicable labour regulations, taking into account, in particular, the specificities of companies that have a high variability or seasonal employment.

The commitment to maintain employment in companies where there is a risk of bankruptcy will not be applicable in the terms of article 5.2 of Act 22/2003, of 9 July, Bankruptcy.

Companies that fail to comply with this commitment must reimburse the full amount of the contributions for which they were exempt, with the corresponding surcharge and interest on arrears, in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security tax collection regulations, prior to actions to the effect of the Inspectorate of Work and Social Security that accredits non-compliance and determines the amounts to be refunded."


Amendment of Royal Decree-Law 9/2020, of 27 March, which adopts complementary measures in the workplace to mitigate the effects arising from COVID-19.

Third final Provision Amendment. Entry into force and period of validity.

 "This Royal Decree-Law will enter into force on the day of its publication in the "Official State Gazette" maintaining its validity during the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March, and any extensions thereto.

Articles 2 and 5 shall remain in force until 30 June 2020