Shops closed in Palma. | M. À. Cañellas


The Minister of Economic Model, Tourism and Work, Iago Negueruela, met with Union Representatives from CAEB, Pimeb, CCOO and UGT on Sunday to discuss the employment situation in light of the coronavirus crisis.

“Workers have the right not to be fired or have their contract terminated; workers cannot be fired under any circumstances," said Councillor Negueruela. "What companies can do is prepare temporary employment regulation files by force majeure."

He also admitted that the current situation is very complicated and that "thousands of workers" will be affected because some businesses were closed on Sunday and even more will be shut on Monday.

He emphasised that it was very important that the procedures be carried out properly.

"There is a need to concentrate on part-time employees, who have the right not to be fired and the maintenance of their jobs must be guaranteed,” he said.

He added that "the Government guarantees that it can be done with retroactive effects, so there is no need to rush and the Government will monitor companies to make sure they do not make unauthorised dismissals."

If a business is forced to close because of the crisis, the Government says the ERTE’s can be approved "by force majeure.”

The President of the Confederation of Business Associations of the Balearic Islands, or CAEB, Carmen Planas, said on Sunday that all businesses will go through a testing time in the next couple of weeks.

“The coronavirus pandemic is going to affect everyone and the Business Sector will be harmed because it will affect all companies, large, small and autonomous,” she said after a meeting with the Minister of Economic Model, Tourism & Work, Iago Negueruela, and Union leaders.

The CAEB says State Employers have requested measures from the Central Government, regarding issues such as the deferral of payments to Social Security and Tax obligations, so that those who are self-employed can stop paying monthly contributions and a series of measures can be put in place to facilitate economic activity.

Carmen Planas says the business fabric of the Balearic Islands is in good shape, but admits there could be casualties.

"I think it is a strong sector, but we depend on Tourism and this will affect everyone in one way or another, so we need to take steps to make sure the impact is as small as possible," she said.