Effective April 2, 2020, a new package of complementary economic and social measures has been published to counteract the impact of COVID-19, which are contained in Royal Decree-Law 11/2020.

Unless otherwise set, these measures remain in force for up to one month after the end of the Alarm State. Notwithstanding the foregoing, its validity may be extended.

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Measures included in DRL 11/2020

In the workplace, the labour measures taken are as follows:

1. Deferral of quotas for companies and self-employed persons. Companies and self-employed persons may apply for a moratorium on the payment of 6-month, interest-free Social Security contributions, as well as the deferment of Social Security debts at a reduced interest rate (0.5%).

2. The regulation of the extraordinary cessation of business benefit provided for self-employed workers is amended, giving them the possibility to pay without surcharge the quotas for March 2020 which have not been covered by the benefit. The way invoicing the reduction in billing by 75% is also changed.

3. 2 exceptional allowances are established one for the end of a temporary contract of at least two months and for which no prior contribution is needed and one for household employees who have ceased their activity.

4. ERTES caused by COVID-19 are made more flexible for companies in competition. To this end, DRL 8/2020 is amended to allow its provisions on the processing of ERTES to be applied either by force majeure, whether for economic, organisational or production reasons.

5. It is established that workers, as employed or self-employed, who have reduced their time to care for the care for a minor affected by cancer or another seriousillness, will be able to balance the subsidy to which they are entitled to unemployment benefit or cessation of activity that is generated as a result of the state of alarm by COVID-19.

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6. Income from the collection of the vocational training fee for employment by 2020, they will be able to use the financing of any of the benefits and actions of the unemployment protection system or to finance programmes that encourage the recruitment of unemployed persons or help them regain employment.

7. The time limit for appealing administratively or to urge any other procedure for challenge, complaint, conciliation, mediation and arbitration to replace them in any proceeding from which adverse effects may arise for the person concerned is extended. The calculation of the period shall be initiated on the business day following the date of completion of the declaration of the alarm status, without prejudice to the effectiveness and performance of the administrative act under appeal or challenge.

8. Extension of fixed-term contracts for university professors and research staff with an extension equivalent to the duration of the alarm status and its extensions or, exceptionally, for up to three additional months.

Applies to:

  • assistants, assistant professors, doctors, associate professors and visiting professors from universities whose maximum duration is expected to end during the duration of the alarm status and its extensions.
  • research personnel in the Low National Health System, exclusively when a year or less remains for the termination of the contract. The period during which the contract has been suspended will be added, where appropriate, to enable contracts to be integrated into the National Health System to address contingencies arising from COVID-19 coronavirus.

The total duration of the employment contract and its extension may exceed the maximum time limits.

9. It is clarified that the commitment to maintain employment for 6 months from the date of completion of the ERTEs resulting from COVID-19 (RDL 8/2020) must be fulfilled and verified taking into account the characteristics and circumstances of the company or the sector concerned, taking into account in particular the seasonality or variability of employment, as well as its correspondence with specific events, events or other sectoral specificities such as those of, for example, the performing, musical and cinematic and audiovisual arts. That commitment is therefore not understood to be non-compliance where the employment contract is extinguished by:

  • disciplinary dismissal declared appropriate;
  • resignation;
  • retirement or permanent disability total, absolute or great invalidity of the working person;
  • expiration of the agreed time, the performance of the work or service that constitutes its object or the activity under contract (for temporary contracts) cannot be carried out immediately.

It is also clarified that the measures to make the temporary adjustment mechanisms foreseen to deal with the alarm situation by COVID-19 (RDL 8/2020) apply to all workers, irrespective of the fixed or indefinite duration of their contracts.

10. The retirement pension of doctors, nurses and emeritus staff is declared to be in compatibility with the return to active service through appointment as statutory staff. The pension will continue to be received in the same amount including, where appropriate, the supplement at minimums.

On the occasion or as a result of the work carried out, the following benefits will be generated:

  • IT benefit derived from a work accident compatible with the retirement pension.
  • IT benefit derived from common illness provided that it proves the required period of absence compatible with the retirement pension.
  • between the retirement pension and the permanent incapacity resulting from a work accident that may occur.
  • death and survival benefits resulting from an accident at work.

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11. Public employees active duty requesting to cooperate both in the field of their administration of origin and in any other administration requiring reinforcement in personnel as a result of the situation caused by COVID-19, they will continue to accrue their remuneration by the agency of origin for the duration of the Declaration of State of Alarm.

12. It is envisaged that once the alarm status has been completed, a Plan of Action is approved within a maximum period of 15 days to expedite judicial activity in social and contentious-administrative courts as well as in the field of commercial courts.

13. Even the September 14, 2020 (6 months from the declaration of the State of alarm) it is possible for pension plan participants, in the event of unemployment or cessation of activity arising from the situation of health crisis caused by COVID-19, to make their consolidated rights effective in certain cases.

14. Exceptional IT provision is regulated for workers domiciled in a population for which full confinement has been agreed and who are required to move to another locality to provide essential services. In order to obtain the service, it is required that the competent authority expressly refused it the possibility of travel and that it is not able to carry out its work telematically for reasons not attributable to the undertaking for which it provides its services or the worker himself and that, moreover, it is not entitled to receive any other public benefit.

15. Duration of DRL measures 8/2020. The wording of this RDL is amended and it is established that these measures shall remain in force for up to one month after the end of the alarm status declaration. However, the foregoing, those measures envisaged that have a certain period of time will be subject to it.

16. ERTEs prior to 18 March 2020. It is established that extraordinary measures on quota exemption and unemployment also apply to procedures for the suspension of contracts and reduction of hours communicated, authorised or initiated before this date and whenever they derive from COVID-19. It also applies to discontinuous fixedes that have been suspended from their employment relationship prior to 18 March 2020, but provided that this suspension is a direct consequence of COVID-19.

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