Tuesday, January 31

The ‘No firing’ sign will hang again from April 1 to June 30

Pedro Sánchez talks with Yolanda Díaz. / EFE

The Government prevents companies from dismissing for objective reasons and will require that those that take advantage of an ERTE maintain their entire workforce for the next six months

Lucia Palacios

The ‘Firing Prohibited’ sign will be hung again in Spain on April 1 and will remain in place until at least June 30. The plan to alleviate the effects of the war that the Government will approve this Tuesday will recover this express limitation on companies being able to carry out an objective dismissal motivated by causes related to the war in Ukraine, in line with what was applied during the pandemic and that It was valid until February 28. Just a month of truce.

It is, in short, a tightening of the conditions to terminate a contract and will imply that de facto the cost of firing a worker rises. Because the compensation for objective dismissal is 20 days per year worked, while the cost for an unfair dismissal, which will be the only one that companies can use in the next three months, rises to 33 days.

This measure to protect workers, which the CEOE refused to go “against the freedom of enterprise”, is added to the ’employment maintenance clause’ which, as happened throughout the pandemic, is in force for companies that take advantage of a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE). This means that those who choose to apply one of the new mechanisms included in the labor reform will have to maintain the employment of their entire workforce for six months or, otherwise, they will have to return all the aid provided by the State in the form exemption from social contributions. And not only that of the dismissed workers, but that of all the employees of the company.

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Government Warning

The Government wanted to launch a “clear mandate” in this regard. “We do not have to fire anyone, we must go to an ERTE and, in the event that it is misused, the companies that attend will have to return the public aid received and, of course, they will not be able to fire the workers. that they go to this mechanism,” warned the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, in statements to the media on Monday.

Both the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Minister of Labor urged companies that are in difficulty to resort to an ERTE and maintain employment. However, for the time being the Executive will not activate the new Network mechanisms in their cyclical or sectoral modality for a situation of generalized economic or sectoral crisis, which are the ones that have the greatest exemptions. Only the announced sectoral ERTE for travel agencies will be approved this Tuesday, so the rest of the companies that want to take advantage of a file will have to resort to one for economic, technical, organizational or production reasons (ETOP), which have a reduction in the quotas of the affected workers of 20%, compared to 40% of the sectoral ones or 60% of the cyclical modality.

However, from the Ministry of Labor they were open to enabling new sectoral or even cyclical ERTEs in the coming weeks, depending on how this crisis evolves. To do this, they will be aware of the impact of this crisis in the different sectors and will analyze which ones may be most affected.


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