“We will get where we have to go.” This is how forceful Lorenzo Amor, president of ATA, the main association of self-employed in Spain, is shown when talking about the chaos that has arisen around aid to the group on La Palma, which has not yet guaranteed access to approved economic support for those affected by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.
As denounced yesterday CEOE and ATA, with its current wording, Royal Decree-Law 18/2021, of September 28, on urgent measures for the protection of employment, economic recovery and improvement of the labor market, leaves the self-employed and entrepreneurs out of the benefit who are in charge of workers, since they have to cancel their self-employment, cease their activity and, therefore, fire their workers to collect this extraordinary help.
CEOE and ATA already warned of this fact on September 29 and, although the Ministry of Social Security that directs Jose Luis Escrivá has promised to study it, they have not received any response yet. For this reason, the efforts of businessmen are now focused on having the problem resolved in the next Council of Ministers on Tuesday. “We cannot leave them abandoned at a time when many of them are losing everything,” Amor alerts.
It is a problem in which, in addition, rains, it pours. In March 2020, the Government had to make a similar correction after the publication of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, of extraordinary urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of Covid-19, which was corrected on April 8, allowing the self-employed and entrepreneurs to access the benefit without unsubscribing from the RETA, according to the employers in a statement.
The new struggle comes at a particularly delicate moment for collective bargaining and in the final stretch for Social Security to present its proposal for the intergenerational equity mechanism which must ensure the financial balance of the pension system and which must be ready on November 15. Today, in statements to the media upon his arrival at the 12th Confederal Congress of CCOO, Escrivá insisted that the presentation of this proposal, which is insistently demanded by trade union and business organizations, will be “imminent”, recoge Ep.
The controversy has also jumped into the parliamentary arena. The deputy of the Citizens group, Maria Muñoz, has registered today a series of questions to try to shed light on the situation that keeps more than 5,000 freelancers in suspense. Muñoz demands to know if the royal decree law will be modified and when and if, given the continuity in time of the eruption, the Government plans to approve additional aid to the already existing ones.
The main problem, as Ciudadanos recalls, is that the current wording of the rule forces the self-employed to unsubscribe from the RETA, something impossible for many professionals on the island of La Palma, since they have workers under their care, so they would be obliged to prior dismissal of its workers. This, in addition, would also mean losing the bonuses to which they have previously accessed the eruption of the volcano and having to return the aid received in the pandemic, provided that these, as is usually done, are linked to the maintenance of activity and employment. . Also the self-employed in a flat rate would lose the possibility of continuing with said bonus.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism